Looking onto the January Transfer Window

The Summer Transfer window ended just over a month ago, but there is only a month and a half until the start of the January Transfer window. Even though there is only a short time left until it opens, Town will play 11 games between now and the start of the window, which will make planning for the window very difficult. Town currently sits 5 points off the play-offs and 7 above the relegation zone, although if Town hung onto the draw at Birmingham, and didn't succumb to second-half defeats against Preston and Bristol City they would currently sit 4th in the table. Which just shows how easy it could be for Town to move in both directions in the table between now and the new year.

In which area do Town fans think the team is the most need for improvement?

Earlier this week, I put out a poll on Twitter asking in which position Town should be focusing on bolstering. The overwhelming response was in attack, 83% of fans believe Town should be improving the front line. In my opinion, I would not make any permanent additions to the attacking line. There is going to be a big change in the squad roster in the summer due to a large number of players being out of contract, so Town should try and make loan signings if possible. In addition to this, any players signed in January usually are inflated in price and if Town wants to be savvy with their finances then they should be waiting until the summer.
When Town lost Karlan Grant and didn't sign a replacement for him, I was annoyed and worried that we may be in a tricky situation until January. Having seen how the team has performed since, I am not sure we need to make any urgent signings, like how Town needed urgent signings for the past three seasons in January.
However, Town did try and sign a replacement for Karlan Grant, as they missed out on the summer deadline day in signing Rolando Aarons from Newcastle and it is rumoured that Town will go back in for the Wideman in January.

Who is not confirmed for next season?

  1. Ben Hamer
  2. Joel Pereira
  3. Christopher Schindler
  4. Richard Stearman
  5. Tommy Elphick
  6. Jaden Brown
  7. Demeaco Duhaney
  8. Carel Eiting
  9. Alex Vallejo
  10. Juninho Bacuna
  11. Jonathon Hogg
  12. Alex Pritchard
  13. Isaac Mbenza
  14. Adama Diakhaby
  15. Fraizer Campbell

With nearly £40 million worth of talent out of contract in the summer, it will be interesting to see who will be retained, who will be released and who will be tried to be shipped on in January for cut prices.
I put another poll out this week asking fans for their opinions on which of the 15 should be kept. 92% of fans want Town to permanently sign Carel Eiting in the summer, while 98% of fans want Town to not renew Tommy Elphick's contract which is again not surprising given his injury. While I would like to see Eiting stay next season as I think he is slowly adapting to English football, he has only had one game where he has had a game-changing impact on the game - vs Luton. If he starts to perform like this more regularly, then I think it will be a no brainer to sign him permanently.
Adama Diakhaby, Ben Hamer, Alex Pritchard, Fraizer Campbell, Richard Stearman and Joel Pereira are all players that Town fans are not bothered about if Town are not to renew their contract for next season. It should be said however, Ben Hamer was borderline with 48% of fans wanting him to stay next season.
Something else that should be noted is that due to the effects of COVID on the financial landscape of football, it is widely believed that players will take pay cuts in their future contract negotiations. Therefore it could be presumed that some of the higher earners of the Premier League era end up staying on huge salary reductions due to being settled at the club and no other club offering them new contracts. For example, a player who may be on £2 million a season currently, may have their wage cut to £500,000 a season, which could be why Town decided to save their money in the summer, to give them greater power in the transfer window at the end of the season.

Who are we at risk of losing?

After a sensational start to the season, Harry Toffolo will surely be on the radar of Premier League sides and you would think if a substantial offer came in for him, then he will probably go.
Burnley was rumoured to be interested in Lewis O'Brien in the summer and after their poor start to the season, while also lacking squad depth, the Clarets will probably be inclined to make an offer.
Isaac Mbenza will only have 6 months left on his contract and if the club fails to agree on a new contract with him, they may be forced to offload him at a cut-price.

What do I think we should do?

I would sign an experienced box to box midfielder and a wide player who can also play striker. If Town is to lose any of their first-team squad to injury or are sold, then they should also be replaced. If I was part of the scouting department I would also try and sign some young players from big clubs who are refusing to sign a new contract. A bit like how Town signed Jaden Brown and Demeaco Duhaney in previous January Transfer Windows. As I said previously it also depends on the position that Town are in in the league. If Town is in a relegation scrap, then Town should do a similar transfer window to the one that they did last season, by signing experienced Championship players. Although, if Town is not in any obvious need of any fresh signings then I would hold off making any signings just for the sake of it and wait for the summer for a mass clear-out and re-build.