January 1, 2018

Who Neeeds A January Move?  (Sky Sports)

David Luiz and Daniel SturridgeThe transfer window is officially open, so which Premier League players need a change of scenery?

The January window is an opportunity for clubs to strengthen their squads, but it is also a chance for players to pursue new challenges.

From Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge to Leicester's club-record signing Islam Slimani, here are six players who need a move.

Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge's future has been the subject of constant speculation in recent seasons. The 28-year-old was outstanding in the 2013/14 campaign, scoring 24 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions under Brendan Rodgers, but he has never looked like recapturing that form under Jurgen Klopp.

Injuries appear to have taken a toll. Sturridge has only started 23 Premier League games out of 96 in the last three seasons due to problems with fitness and form, and he now finds himself firmly behind Roberto Firmino in Klopp's pecking order. The Liverpool boss said he had no plans to sell Sturridge back in November, but he has only played 18 minutes since then.

With the World Cup around the corner and with Sturridge set to move into the final year of his contract next season, a January departure might make sense for all parties. While there are question marks over whether he is the player he once was, he is unlikely to be short of suitors.

Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw appeared to have the world at his feet when he joined Manchester United from Southampton as the world's most expensive teenager back in 2014, but it has not worked out as expected. A broken leg stalled the left-back's progress after a difficult first season at Old Trafford, and he has been struggling to win over Jose Mourinho ever since.

There have been glimmers of hope in recent weeks, with Shaw starting his first Premier League games since April against Bournemouth, Burnley and Southampton, but the suspicion is that Mourinho's hand has been forced by injuries. Shaw is still young, 22, and has time on his side, but he could be forgiven for thinking he might benefit from more regular playing time elsewhere.

Ross Barkley

It seemed Everton were about to bank £35m on Ross Barkley when the midfielder travelled to Chelsea on the final day of the summer transfer window, but a last-minute change of heart saw him stay at Goodison Park. He has spent the first half of the season recovering from a hamstring injury, but his name is back in the headlines now.

Sam Allardyce says he would be open to welcoming Barkley back into the fold at Everton, but he has since admitted the club is "at loggerheads" with the player as he enters the final six months of his contract. It is unclear whether Chelsea and Tottenham will come back in for him this month, but he appears unwilling to sign a new deal at his boyhood club. Is it time for a new challenge?

David Luiz

At the end of last season, it seemed inconceivable that David Luiz's future might be in doubt just a few months later. The Brazil international had played a vital role in Chelsea's Premier League title triumph, with Antonio Conte lauding him as one of the best defenders in the world, but an apparent falling out with the Blues head coach has changed the situation dramatically.

Luiz has lost his place in the team to Andreas Christensen, a player Conte now describes as a future Chelsea captain, and has not played a single minute in the Premier League since October. With rumours of interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona swirling, it seems he is nearing the end of his second spell at Stamford Bridge.

Theo Walcott

This is Theo Walcott's 12th full season as an Arsenal player but never has he looked further away from Arsene Wenger's first-choice team. At 28, he should be entering the peak of his career, but instead he finds himself out of favour with his club and at risk of missing out on another World Cup with his country.

It has been an alarming fall from grace. Walcott featured regularly for Arsenal last season, scoring 19 goals in all competitions, but he has been on the fringes ever since he publically questioned their desire after a shambolic 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in April.

He has been reduced to Europa League and EFL Cup appearances this season, playing just 48 minutes in the Premier League. He scored a goal and provided an assist in a recent win over BATE Borisov, but it was telling that he was not even named in the squad when Arsenal returned to Premier League action a few days later. It's surely time for Arsenal's longest-serving player to move on.

Islam Slimani

Leicester spent a club-record £29m on Islam Slimani last summer, but he has been a peripheral figure during his second season at the King Power. The Algeria international has not started a single Premier League game since September and his only goals this season have come in the Carabao Cup.

Claude Puel's recent comments suggest the situation is unlikely to change any time soon. "I don't put my team in place based on the price of the player," he said last week. "We have said before we have a lot of players in the same position and with different profiles but we have only one or two places in the team." Slimani could be one to watch in the month ahead.

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