With the January transfer window fast approaching giving the clubs to amp up their firepower, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at five world-class players who we think should leave their clubs sooner rather than later.
The summer transfer window brought with it plenty of drama and excitement, with the euphoria of the 2018 FIFA World Cup giving way to the unpredictable nature of transfer activity. Several clubs cashed in on the opportunity to improve their arsenal by signing some truly world-class names, while others weren’t so lucky in their attempts to buy top players.
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, for example, are two clubs that would feel hard done by, with the latter failing to sign even one player in the summer. Despite the obvious setback, such teams do have a chance to redeem themselves, with the January window presenting itself at the turn of the new year.
Signing a player mid-season has historically been condemned by certain managers, but it comes with the incentive of knowing how a particular footballer has been performing over the course of a season, and whether signing him is worth it or not. So, here are five top footballers who should be making the move come January.
5. DAVID DE GEA (Manchester United)
United’s custodian has been sensational for a few years now and is proof that Sir Alex Ferguson knows how to scout genuine talent, bringing the lanky and seemingly weak youngster over from Atletico Madrid to the rough world of Premier League. The investment has borne fruit big time, and De Gea has emerged as one of the best keepers of his generation in short order and is still one of the hottest properties in the market.
While he has been exceptional, his team continue to struggle, and January could be the time that the Spaniard has a decision to make. Real Madrid have already signed Thibaut Courtois, but everyone knows their first choice was always David De Gea.
4. PAUL POGBA (Manchester United)
Sticking with United, their controversial midfielder joins the list next. Constant tussles with manager Jose Mourinho and a lack of commitment to the cause at Old Trafford have all hampered Pogba’s performance in the past two seasons, and it could be time to move on.
The Frenchman has been linked with Juventus, Barcelona and even PSG, and if Mourinho does end up staying, Pogba could be on his way. He probably should too, considering his talent was one of the reasons France lifted the World Cup. As good as he has been for his country, he hasn’t been able to replicate the same form in the red of Manchester.
3. ANTOINE GRIEZMANN (Atletico Madrid)
It’s quite surprising that Griezmann isn’t a Barcelona player already. The Frenchman received a golden ticket straight to the tunnel at the Camp Nou, but he surprisingly turned it down, committing his future to Atletico instead.
The transfer would have been celebrated in the capital, but it seems unlikely that Griezmann will be able to win it all with Atletico, as he probably can with Barca. Another opportunity will surely present itself in January, and the World Cup winner will have to be thick-skinned and iron willed to turn down a lucrative option like joining the Catalans.
2. EDEN HAZARD (Chelsea FC)
Hazard has been on an absolute roll this season in the Premier League. The Belgian was influential in his nation’s extraordinary third-place finish at the World Cup, and has already notched up seven goals for Chelsea in the league. If it wasn’t for his doubt over leaving London, he might just have been a Real Madrid player already.
Hazard was on the Los Blancos wishlist for a while, and it seemed that he would move in the summer itself, but the transfer was put on halt. The forward has admitted his desire to move to the Bernabeu and would be more than welcome there by the Galacticos, who have been scouting him for a while. The lure of Champions League football and the possibility of winning it might be too much to turn down come the winter.
1. HARRY KANE (Tottenham Hotspur)
Few European footballers have been more prolific than Harry Kane. The Englishman has proven his quality over the course of three years at Tottenham, and it is no surprise that the North Londoners aren’t willing to sell at any cost.
That being said, the 2018 World Cup’s top scorer would be aware of the fact that he hasn’t won major silverware with Spurs, and it could be a huge reason in him perhaps looking elsewhere for that winter transfer. The likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona would surely be interested in securing his services in January, though at the moment he seems content staying put in the English capital.