Jose Mourinho wants a trophy, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is after a new deal, Jurgen Klopp needs a centre back and Mikel Arteta eyes a cure for his goal-shy strikers: What does each Premier League manager want for Christmas?
- Sportsmail assesses what every Premier League manager wants for Christmas
- Jose Mourinho, for instance, is determined to end Tottenham’s trophy drought
- Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, meanwhile, wants a new contract
This Christmas the 20 Premier League managers will be hoping for a present that could make all the difference for their clubs this season.
Some are more in need of a boost than most, such as Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, while Jose Mourinho will be determined to end Tottenham’s wait for a trophy in 2021.
Sportsmail takes a look a what each Premier League manager wants for Christmas.
Jose Mourinho, who has enjoyed much success in his career, wants a trophy with Tottenham (pictured here winning his third Premier League title at Chelsea during the 2014-15 season)
Arsenal: Mikel Arteta – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back to his best
When Arsenal won the FA Cup last season Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was at the heart of everything that was good about Mikel Arteta’s team.
Arteta’s main tactic involved Arsenal playing cross-field passes into the path of Aubameyang, who often finished adroitly.
Now, though, the goals have dried up and Arsenal are in woeful form – and in fact are staring at a relegation battle as they currently sit four points above the drop in 15th. Aubameyang, who is currently dealing with a calf problem, has just three league goals this season.
The striker last scored in the 1-1 draw at home to Southampton (December 16) – in what was his most recent match before injury. That ended a goalless run stretching back to November 1 and Arteta will hope that Aubameyang will now start to find the net regularly again.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is eager for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to start scoring
Aston Villa: Dean Smith – Ross Barkley to avoid further injuries
Ross Barkley was showing signs of getting back to his best earlier in the campaign before a hamstring injury stopped him in his tracks, meaning he has not played since November 21.
Barkley – who is on loan from Chelsea – is closing in on a return to action, although Dean Smith will be careful not to rush him back.
Smith’s wish this Christmas will be for Barkley to remain fit for the rest of the season, especially given that he is capable of linking up with Jack Grealish to excellent effect.
Dean Smith will hope that Ross Barkley will be able to stay fit for Aston Villa this season
Barkley suffered an injury last month but when fit can be a hugely important player for Villa
Brighton: Graham Potter – Yves Bissouma to stay
Yves Bissouma has produced some excellent performances for Brighton this season, with the midfielder impressing with his neat passing, while he is also capable of breaking up play.
Rather unsurprisingly, there is reportedly interest in Bissouma from elsewhere, with Liverpool and Arsenal both said to be tracking the 24-year-old.
Brighton boss Graham Potter will surely be doing everything he can to keep Bissouma this Christmas, with his stock continuing to grow.
Bissouma – whose Brighton contract runs until 2023 – was signed from French club Lille in July 2018 for an undisclosed fee, reportedly worth around £15million. And it would take a significant offer to even tempt Brighton to let him leave as they bid to remain in the top flight.
Brighton manager Graham Potter will want his team to keep hold of midfielder Yves Bissouma
Bissouma, who has produced some excellent performances, has been linked with Liverpool
Burnley: Sean Dyche – Greater squad depth
Burnley boss Sean Dyche has frequently spoken out regarding the lack of funds available to him while Burnley are locked in a battle to stay in the Premier League.
Especially when they have a few players out injured, Burnley can quickly find themselves with rather limited options and Dyche has often named several youngsters on his bench.
While some of those prospects, such as midfielder Josh Benson, are talented, Dyche will be eager to make some additions to his squad in January, even if players are brought in for small fees.
Sean Dyche’s wish this Christmas will be for Burnley to have greater depth in their squad
Chelsea: Frank Lampard – Kai Havertz to show his quality
Much was expected of Kai Havertz when he joined Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen for an initial fee of £72m.
However, while many of Chelsea’s summer signings have settled in seamlessly, Chelsea are still waiting to see the best of Havertz. There is little doubt about the quality that the German international possesses but it is clear that he is taking time to adapt to the demands of the Premier League.
The 21-year-old has scored five times in 18 matches across all competitions for Chelsea this season – but three of those came in a Carabao Cup 6-0 win over Barnsley. Delving in further, Havertz hasn’t scored since a 3-3 home draw with Southampton on October 17 – a goalless run of 12 matches and counting.
If Havertz was to click into gear in the New Year then it could help Chelsea push on for the title.
Frank Lampard will hope that Chelsea will soon be able to see the best of Kai Havertz
Havertz has taken some time to settle following his move to Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen
Crystal Palace: Roy Hodgson – To keep Wilfried Zaha
Every transfer window there is speculation regarding the future of Wilfried Zaha but despite coming close to losing him on a number of occasions in recent years, Palace have managed to retain the services of their star asset since he re-joined the club.
With Zaha having made a hugely impressive start to the campaign there will inevitably be renewed interest in the Ivory Coast international – Arsenal, for instance, would benefit hugely from having such a creative player at their disposal.
Roy Hodgson is fully aware that if Palace were to lose Zaha then he would be extremely difficult to replace at short notice, so it is of paramount importance that he stays.
He has seven goals in 13 Premier League appearances this campaign. Last season he had four goals in 39 matches in all competitions, highlighting his upturn in form.
Roy Hodgson will hope Wilfried Zaha is still at Crystal Palace when the transfer window shuts
Zaha, who has enjoyed an impressive start to the campaign, is often linked with a move away
Everton: Carlo Ancelotti – Dominic Calvert-Lewin to keep impressing
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has exceeded all expectations this season, with the forward scoring 11 times in the Premier League as he has led the line to excellent effect.
In addition to his prolific nature in front of goal, Calvert-Lewin is also hugely effective at winning the ball in the air and bringing others into play.
His impact up front has been a major factor as to why the Toffees currently sit fourth in the Premier League, although he would’ve been disappointed at his lack of service during Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat by Manchester United.
If Calvert-Lewin was to get injured or endure a difficult spell then it would have a huge impact on Carlo Ancelotti’s team. Therefore, the Everton manager will be eager for the England international to stay fit and firing.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been superb and Carlo Ancelotti will want him to keep scoring
Fulham: Scott Parker – An effective penalty taker
Fulham’s struggles from the penalty spot this season have been well documented, with Ademola Lookman’s failed Panenka against West Ham a candidate for one of the worst spot-kicks ever.
Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ivan Cavaleiro have also missed from the spot this season, although they have also both scored a penalty each.
Fulham have many areas in which to improve but if they could make better use of penalties it could make a big difference for Scott Parker’s side in their bid to stave off the drop.
Fulham manager Scott Parker will be hoping his team make the most of any future penalties
Leeds: Marcelo Bielsa – Better luck with injuries, especially defensively
The injury to Robin Koch, who could be out for three months following knee surgery, is a major blow for Leeds.
With Diego Llorente also out with a more short-term problem, the Elland Road outfit could be vulnerable at the heart of the defence.
To compound matters, captain Liam Hooper was forced off with an abdominal strain during Sunday’s 6-2 drubbing at bitter rivals Manchester United. As a result he is ruled out for Sunday’s clash at home to Burnley.
Marcelo Bielsa will be hoping for better fortune on the injury front as the campaign progresses.
Marcelo Bielsa will hope that Leeds don’t get many more injuries, especially to their defenders
Leicester City: Brendan Rodgers – More goals from elsewhere
Jamie Vardy has continued to excel for Leicester and, despite being 33 years old, isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
Brendan Rodgers may be somewhat concerned, however, about just how reliant Leicester are on Vardy for goals.
While Vardy has got 11 league goals, the next highest return for Leicester is three – with Harvey Barnes, James Maddison and Youri Tielemans all tied on that amount. The Foxes need more goals from midfield if they are to push Liverpool in the title race.
They’re currently second in the table but could give table-toppers Liverpool a run for their money if others can ease Vardy’s goalscoring burden.
Brendan Rodgers will be determined for his Leicester side to not be too reliant on Jamie Vardy
Vardy has 11 Premier League goals this season – eight more than his nearest Foxes team-mate
Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp – A centre back
When Liverpool went into the season without adding to their options at centre back it was seen as something of a risk. As the January transfer window approaches, a new signing in that position, even if it is just a back-up option, seems a necessity.
With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez out with long-term injuries, Liverpool have been relying upon Fabinho to fill in at centre back alongside Joel Matip.
While Fabinho has stepped up to the task, further injuries in that department could end up significantly harming Liverpool’s hopes of retaining the title, and Jurgen Klopp needs to address this issue.
Schalke defender Ozan Kabak is one player on Liverpool’s radar – with the Reds’ interest dating back to the summer, as revealed by Sportsmail in July.
The 20-year-old is a tough, combative player who is good on the ball. He was initially valued at £40m in the summer, but the asking price has become more realistic with Schalke struggling financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They are looking for around £25m now and that has alerted more clubs, too.
Bringing in a new centre back would help to ease Jurgen Klopp’s problems in that area
Schalke’s Ozan Kabak attracted interest from Liverpool in July, as revealed by Sportsmail
Manchester City: Pep Guardiola – A long-term Sergio Aguero replacement
The impact that Sergio Aguero has made during almost a decade at Manchester City has been tremendous, but it is clear that the 32-year-old cannot now be relied upon owing to a succession of injuries.
City can call upon Gabriel Jesus, but the Brazilian hasn’t been particularly prolific. Jesus has scored just four times in 11 appearances this season and Tuesday’s Carabao Cup strike against Arsenal was his first in eight games – a run dating back to November 8.
As a result of all of the above, it is time for Pep Guardiola to start thinking about who can succeed Aguero in the long-term.
It is important for City to act now as they need to bring in a player who is capable of replicating Aguero by being prolific over many years. Borussia Dortmund’s young sensation Erling Haaland has been linked with a move and would certainly fit the bill.
It is time for manager Pep Guardiola to look for a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero
Manchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – A new contract
It is almost two years since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer first took charge of Manchester United yet there still remains some uncertainty regarding his long-term future at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer appears to be in little danger of being sacked in the immediate term, but United’s lack of consistency is a concern and they still have many improvements to make.
With his current deal set to expire in the summer of 2022, Solskjaer will be longing for a new contract to increase his job security.
Sitting third in the Premier League, with a game in hand, and into another Cup semi-final will help matters but the Norwegian knows he needs to deliver silverware soon.
Interest in £4.5m Ecuador international wonderkid Moises Caicedo may help his cause, with the 19-year-old touted as a combination of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante.
A new contract is at the top of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s wishlist
Manchester United are keen to sign Ecuador international Moises Caicedo for a fee of £4.5m
Newcastle: Steve Bruce – A creative midfielder
Callum Wilson has worked very hard up front for Newcastle this season and has made a significant impact in front of goal.
At times, however, it has been clear that Steve Bruce’s side would benefit from having an extra creative option in midfield to support him and bring him into the play.
If Bruce was to bring in a creative midfielder then Wilson could thrive even more and Newcastle could become more of a cohesive team overall.
Steve Bruce could look to bring in an attacking midfielder to give Newcastle more creativity
Sheffield United: Chris Wilder – A packed Bramall Lane
Sheffield United are probably the side that have missed having a full stadium the most.
Last season Chris Wilder’s side were hugely effective at home, securing seven wins out of 15 league games at Bramall Lane when fans were in attendance.
This season they have taken just one point at home, losing the other six matches. In addition they have scored the joint-fewest at home with Burnley (both four).
Having all of their fans back may not be possible in the current circumstances, but it is clear that the Blades would benefit from the backing of their supporters in what is now a bitter relegation fight.
Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United have really felt the impact of a lack of supporters in attendance
Southampton: Ralph Hasenhuttl – Theo Walcott to sign on a permanent deal
Southampton took something of a risk when they elected to re-sign Theo Walcott on loan, with the winger having often been underwhelming for Everton.
However, Walcott has been very impressive for Southampton and has matched the demands of manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Hasenhuttl will be eager for Southampton to sign Walcott on a permanent basis, with the 31-year-old enjoying a new lease of life at St Mary’s.
Ralph Hasenhuttl (left) would love for Southampton to sign Theo Walcott on a permanent basis
Tottenham: Jose Mourinho – A trophy
Jose Mourinho has done excellently to transform Tottenham and it appears that they have a genuine chance of ending their arduous wait for the league title.
Given the quality that Mourinho can call upon in his squad, especially the attacking prowess of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, even if they don’t win the league Tottenham certainly have the capability to lift some silverware for the first time since 2008.
That came in the shape of the League Cup and Spurs will be very confident of reaching April’s final. On Wednesday they beat Stoke to reach the semi-finals and have been drawn against lower league opposition once more in the shape of Brentford.
If Mourinho could achieve the objective then it could lay the foundations for further success.
Tottenham manager Mourinho is determined to end his team’s lengthy trophy drought
Tottenham are in the League Cup semi-finals and will be confident of reaching April’s finale
West Brom: Sam Allardyce – An improved defence
If West Brom are to remain in the Premier League this season then it is clear that they need to improve significantly in defence.
The Baggies conceded an alarming 26 goals in their first 13 matches and need to be more resilient as a unit.
New manager Sam Allardyce should look to bring in at least one new centre back – Motherwell’s Scotland international Declan Gallagher is an option.
New West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce will look to improve his side’s defence
West Ham: David Moyes – Sebastien Haller to step up
While West Ham have impressed in some respects this season, with the likes of Tomas Soucek and Jarrod Bowen catching the eye, the absence of Michail Antonio has left something of a void up front.
Sebastien Haller has tried his utmost to step up but found life difficult.
However, Haller scored an excellent goal in the 1-1 home draw with Crystal Palace and will hope that leads to many more – starting with Sunday’s very winnable game against lowly Brighton.
David Moyes will hope that Sebastien Haller can be a useful alternative to Michail Antonio
Haller will be looking to build upon the superb overhead kick he scored versus Crystal Palace
Wolves: Nuno Espirito Santo – An extra attacker
Wolves are another club who could look to bring in a new striker in January.
With Raul Jimenez sidelined after fracturing his skull against Arsenal, Wolves could look to bring in cover for the Mexican.
Fabio Silva is a talented player, but, at just 18 years of age, is rather inexperienced, so Nuno Espirito Santo could look to make a signing in this department.
Liverpool striker Divock Origi is one player who has been linked with a move to Molineux.
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo may attempt to add to his team’s attacking resources
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