4 January transfers worth backing now - and one that's not
After Alexis Sanchez's move to Man Utd fell from 25/1 to 1/4 inside a week, we assess which potential moves are worth betting on at their current price.
Riyad Mahrez to Chelsea -
Are Arsenal and Liverpool, both seeking to replace key attackers, missing what is staring them in the face?
Five goals in 11 matches – and a sequence of mesmerising performances – render Riyad Mahrez one of the best players in the Premier League for the second time in three seasons.
And while there must be a reason that none of the top six have ever pushed hard to sign him, his sensational ability will eventually prove irresistible to one of them.
Chelsea, who must placate Antonio Conte if they are to achieve anything from this season, may be the first to twitch, as they bid to cure their struggles in attack.
Of course, Leicester will not want to sell, but 20/1 is a tempting price for a goal-shy Champions League club to go after a player who would jump at the chance to move.
Daniel Sturridge to Newcastle -
Daniel Sturridge. Remember him?
It says something for the 18 months Sturridge has had that after a positive Euro 2016, his continued absence from Liverpool’s first team has become a matter of course.
A spate of injuries that seem to merge into one have made him an irrelevance at Anfield, and with Gareth Southgate culling those who don’t play often enough, a January move is a must for his World Cup chances.
A loan switch to Newcastle would suit all parties.
A few goals to save one of the best-supported clubs in the country – whose fans would adore him – would propel Sturridge back into public consciousness, and should see ensure his seat on that plane.
Fitness-permitting, of course.
Luke Shaw to Watford -
Even though Shaw has enjoyed regular playing time at Manchester United in the last month, any reprieve from Jose Mourinho is likely temporary rather than long-term.
Ashley Young has returned from suspension and will probably resume his status as first-choice left-back, while not a day goes by without Danny Rose or Alex Sandro being linked with a move to Old Trafford.
So, a loan move to Watford – rumoured to be a possibility over Christmas – should not be discounted, especially at 20/1.
Shaw would be guaranteed game time – Marco Silva’s side have big problems at left-back – and would work under a manager who has played a key role in the development of Andrew Robertson and Kiko Femenia in his 12 months in England.
Silva, too, has a good relationship with Mourinho, so may well win the race for Shaw should he become available.
Danny Ings to West Brom -
The Premier League’s second-worst attack needs bolstering if they are to save themselves.
And Ings is probably the best the Baggies can do.
The 25-year-old is fit again after spending the best part of two years out injured, and has no chance forcing his way into Jurgen Klopp’s thinking ahead of the forward line that devastated Manchester City on Sunday.
A move to the Midlands could revitalise a career that has been on the backburner since his 11-goal haul for Burnley three seasons ago, and ensure that Alan Pardew has more to go on than the misfiring Salomon Rondon and Jay Rodriguez.
Gareth Bale to Manchester United -
A headline that screams Manchester United’s desire to sign Gareth Bale in January cannot be disputed.
But any claim that Bale’s arrival is a possibility is tenuous.
There has never been much of an indication that the Welshman is particularly interested in a move back to England.
And as much as United have embraced a Galactico-themed recruitment drive in the post-Ferguson era, they are not about to sign the man currently leading the line for Real Madrid.
This could be a 1,000,000/1, and you’d be best off ignoring it.
Have you ever wondered about how a big-money signing comes together? Then read our interview with Jon Smith, football's original super agent.