10 players who could move this transfer window

It’s the time of year that keeps Championship managers and chairmen awake at night. The January transfer window can yield endless surprises for teams up and down the football league pyramid, not all of them good.

There is obviously the potential to bring in the reinforcements required to push for the play-offs or to steer clear of relegation but there is also the potential to lose your best players and end up being relegated. This is now known as ‘doing a Hull’, so if one of the readers would like to put that on Urban Dictionary to legitimise my waffle, that would be lovely.

This January there are, as usual, endless rumours flying about the place. The purpose of this article is to look at the players that are most likely to be heading out of the door and potentially leaving their team in a lurch.

Michael Olise

Contract Length: 1 year, 6 months

Teams linked: Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Leeds United, Crystal Palace

The top assister in the league is 19 years old. Michael Olise has eight assists, a higher number than Premier League quality creators such as Emi Buendia (six) and promising youngsters Harvey Elliott and Bryan Mbuemo (both five). He has also scored four goals and is generally regarded as one of the best prospects in the second division.

You look at all of these facts, look at his importance to an impressive Reading side and look at the cost that some of the best Championship prospects have commanded in recent years (Jarrod Bowen £20 million, Said Benrahma £25 million, Ollie Watkins £30 million) and you think that Olise must be approaching those numbers, but no.

The French-born youngster has a release clause of only £8 million, which is a bargain price. I would be very surprised if Olise didn’t make the move away from the Madejski Stadium at least before the start of next season.

Emi Buendia

Contract Length: 3 years, 6 months

Teams linked: Arsenal

A player perennially linked with a move to the Premier League, even when he was in it. A creative maestro, one of the highest chance creators in the Premier League last season, second highest assist-maker in the Championship this season.

Buendia is Premier League quality already and, with Mesut Ozil’s move to Fenerbace seemingly in an advanced place, there is certainly scope for a replacement in London to provide competition for the recently impressive Emile Smith-Rowe.

Norwich do not need to sell though, there is no release clause and it would be a major hit to Norwich’s promotion campaign if they lost a key man at this stage of the season. The fee would reportedly have to be around the £40 million mark to convince Norwich to part ways with the Argentinian, and I just can’t see that this January.

Bright Osayi-Samuel

Contract Length: 6 months

Teams linked: Rangers, Celtic, Crystal Palace, West Ham, Swansea, Stoke

A brilliantly exciting winger who will definitely be leaving the Hoops over the next few months. Osayi-Samuel is one of Queens Park Rangers’ biggest threats on a consistent basis and was close to leaving in the summer.

With it seeming, once again, that Mark Warburton’s side would not be challenging for the play offs this season, Osayi Samuel might be best served by making a move in January to ensure that he makes an impact in a meaningful sense.

With both major Scottish sides battling for his name, this could be one of the stories to watch over the course of this window.

Seny Dieng

Contract Length: 3 years, 6 months

Teams linked: Arsenal, Leeds, Crystal Palace

One of the success stories of this Championship season. Having impressed on loan at Doncaster Rovers last season, Dieng returned to parent club QPR in sparkling form. He has

carried that form throughout this season and is now attracting Premier League attention as a viable goalkeeping option.

The 6ft 3in Senegalese national has emerged as a target for such clubs as Arsenal and, with Transfermarkt valuing him at under £1 million, it would not be a surprise to see him move to a Premier League side, regardless of how much QPR would like to keep him.

Jason Knight

Contract Length: 2 years, 6 months

Teams linked: Burnley, West Ham, Crystal Palace

One of the young Derby cabal brought into the first team set-up by Phillip Cocu last season, Jason Knight has been brilliantly consistent this time around, appearing in every league

game for his side. Knight has emerged as a target for a host of Premier League sides, all eager to attract the 19-year-old midfielder in the January window.

Valued at just under £5 million by Transfermarkt, the Derby youth product has two goals to his name already this season and is capable of playing across the centre of the pitch. It is no surprise to see the youngster already linked with top division sides.

Ben Davies

Contract Length: 6 months

Teams linked: Genk, Celtic

One of the many Preston players who are out of contact in the summer, Davies has consistently been one of his sides’ best performers and was missed earlier this season when he was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

He’s been linked with a variety of sides since the summer and, with him becoming available for free at the end of the season, Preston may look to cash in now.

Alex Mowatt

Contract Length: 6 months

Teams linked: Middlesborough

He’s been a brilliant player for an impressive Barnsley side this season. The Tykes’ captain has notched up four goals and two assists from the centre of midfield this season and has an impossibly powerful wand of a left foot.

The former Leeds midfielder seems to have a genuine love for the club that he plays for and, with Barnsley already having failed to negotiate an extension of Matty James’ loan with the club, I would be shocked to see Mowatt leave his team in a lurch in the middle of a very promising season. Not one I expect to make a move.

Ben Pearson

Contract Length: 6 months

Teams linked: Celtic, Brentford, West Brom

Joining his teammate Ben Davies on this list, Pearson is a fearsome midfield scuffler (Shithouse Pirlo) with the ability to put in a crunching tackle and play a decent pass. Closely linked with Brentford currently, we could also see him move to Scotland to replace an aging Scott Brown for Celtic. He has missed half of the league games this season for Preston, and the side seems to have managed without him at various points.

He is a player who could still command a transfer fee, even with only six months left on his contract and, with his impact this season being limited for his current side, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Preston cash in.

Josh Windass

Contract Length: 1 year, 6 months

Teams linked: West Brom

Windass arrived in England in 2018 after a brilliant spell at Rangers and has since constantly switched between Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday. Currently at the latter side, Windass has scored three goals and notched up two assists this season in a Wednesday side struggling to get the ball in the back of the net.

This is the same case as West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League, with Sam Allardyce’s side only scoring once since the veteran managers’ appointment.

Due to Wednesday’s financial troubles, Windass could be available on the cheap and I would expect him to move on from the Yorkshire side relatively promptly if the issues there persist.

Josh King

Contract Length: 6 months

Teams linked: Wolves, West Brom, West Ham

A Premier League proven striker available for free in a number of months. King has a number of suitors in the top division and, having notched up zero direct goal involvements and only eight appearances this season, Bournemouth could certainly afford to let him move on this window.

The Cherries would hope to collect a seven figure fee at least for the attacker and, for a player with such experience, I can’t imagine clubs like West Ham, who are in the process of selling Sebastian Haller to Ajax, turning their nose up at that price.

By Theo Hewson-Betts | @thewsonbetts


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