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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Five players set for a Premier League move in the January transfer window

The January transfer window has arrived as the 2022 World Cup fades in the rearview mirror, with clubs now free to line up targets to shape their second-half campaigns. It’s not always easy to make signings midway through the season, but business will be conducted over the next month nonetheless. Premier League clubs are expected to be the most active in the transfer market with speculation swirling rampantly each day.

Unsurprisingly, the breakout stars of the World Cup in Qatar are being linked with big-money moves despite the tried and true lesson that clubs shouldn’t be quite so hasty to rely on those performances for transfer decisions. Whether previous scouting has informed these purchases or not, the likes of Liverpool have already completed a deal for Cody Gakpo, while further transfers appear to be in the pipeline around European game. Here are five transfer stories to keep an eye on during the January window.

Moises Caicedo (Brighton)

Ecuador might have failed to qualify for the last 16 at the 2022 World Cup, but Moises Caicedo still made a strong impression with a series of good performances. More significantly, the 21-year-old has been exceptional for Brighton in the Premier League this season, generating speculation over his future at the Amex Stadium.

Chelsea and Liverpool are believed to be in the market for a new midfielder and Caicedo would tick a lot of boxes for both teams. The Ecuadorian is an excellent two-way central operator, offering plenty on both sides of the ball. He is the definition of a modern midfielder in the way he plays the game.

Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)

It’s been clear for some time that Joao Felix must leave Atletico Madrid to get his career back on track and this was underlined by his impressive performances for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup. Diego Simeone has never truly grasped the quality of Felix as a player and so a fresh start would be beneficial for the 23-year-old.

Chelsea and Manchester United are believed to be exploring the option of signing Felix on loan for the second half of the season with the Portuguese’s versatility and adaptability particularly appealing to the former. Felix has wasted too much of his career in the Spanish capital. The Premier League could suit him.

Enzo Fernandez (Benfica)

Enzo Fernandez was one of the stars of the 2022 World Cup, winning the Best Young Player as he helped Argentina to success in Qatar. The 21-year-old only made the move to Benfica from River Plate in the summer transfer window, and even with his €120m release clause some clubs are considering a transfer.

Chelsea and Liverpool have both been strongly linked with a move for Fernandez. The Argentine has the energy and dynamism to succeed in the Premier League and the technical ability on the ball to satisfy either Graham Potter or Jurgen Klopp. Fernandez would be a blockbuster transfer this January, but he might be worth the money.

Mykhalo Mudryk (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Arsenal find themselves top of the Premier League table heading into 2023 and appear intent on improving their squad from a position of strength in January. Mykhalo Mudryk is reportedly top of the Gunners’ shopping list with reports stating that a bid of around €55m has already lodged with Shakhtar Donetsk for the winger.

Mudryk would give Mikel Arteta another option in the final third with the Ukrainian international electrifying with the ball at his feet. The 21-year-old demonstrated his ability for Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League this season and would be a statement signing for a club currently on an upward trajectory.

Goncalo Ramos (Benfica)

Goncalo Ramos started only two matches for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup, but he still managed to catch the world’s eye with a hat trick in the round of 16 demolition of Switzerland. Even before then, though, Ramos had earned himself a reputation as one of the best young strikers around, scoring 10 goals in just 17 appearances for Benfica.

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Ramos after missing out on Gakpo and it’s certainly true that the 21-year-old would fill a hole in their squad following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ramos would be an attacking focal point for Erik ten Hag’s team and give them a different dimension in and around the penalty box, while rubbing salt in the wound of Ronaldo, who found himself usurped by Ramos in Portugal’s World Cup starting XI as well.

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