We’re just days away from the beginning of the January transfer window and a number of Premier League clubs are expected to dip into the market to strengthen their squads ahead of the second half of the season.
Those actively looking for new players will have a good idea of the areas of the team they need to strengthen.
Often several clubs feel the need to add creativity to their squads at this stage of the season but that’s easier said than done. Maybe your side has an otherwise talented feeding off scraps and needs some quality behind him?
The answer is usually a creative midfielders, but they can be hard to come by, especially ones that are affordable midway through the season.
So we’ve compiled a list of ten promising midfield players that have gone under the radar this season and suggested the teams that should look to sign them.
1. Miguel Almiron
Current club: Atalanta United
Who should sign him? Newcastle United
This one may well happen, and if Newcastle are able to pull it off then it could be a very significant signing for them.
Manager Rafa Benitez reiterated on Boxing Day that it would be ‘a miracle’ if the Magpies avoided relegation again this season following their 4-0 defeat to league leaders Liverpool.
They are definitely a side in need of a creative spark from midfield, having scored the second-fewest goals (14) in the league so far this season.
Paraguayan attacking midfielder Almiron has proved himself one of the most dangerous players in the MLS so far this season and can play as a number 10 or in a wide role.
2. Nicolo Barella
Current club: Cagliari
Who should sign him? Spurs
This would be a tough deal to pull off in January, but if Cagliari give off the slightest hint that they could be open to selling Barella, we’d expect a number of Premier League sides to be interested.
The 21-year-old is already a full Italy international and has been likened to Marco Verratti because of his combative style of play in midfield.
Legendary Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo recently lauded Barella ‘one of the best players in Italy’.
The Cagliari star is likely to be on the radar of a number of the Premier League’s top clubs and we think he’s exactly the sort of player Spurs should target if, as expected, Moussa Dembele moves on in the near future.
3. Bradley Dack
Current club: Blackburn Rovers
Who should sign him? Crystal Palace
Dack has been one of the most promising players in the Football League for some time and hugely impressive in his first Championship season so far.
The former Gillingham man has netted 11 goals in 21 appearances for Tony Mowbray’s side this campaign and can play as an attacking midfielder or in a wider role.
Crystal Palace, West Ham, West Brom and Leeds have all been linked with January moves for the 24-year-old and we don’t think it will be long until Dack is playing in the Premier League.
Palace are a side in need of goals and creativity and Dack brings both.
4. Robin Quaison
Current club: Mainz 05
Who should sign him? Huddersfield United
Sweden international Robin Quaison has been one of the most impressive performers in the Bundesliga so far this season, managing five goals and three assists so far this term.
We think Quaison could be the ideal Premier League player, a tall and physical attacking midfield player who scores goals and can play in a number of different positions.
The former Palermo man would be available at a good price and would surely jump at the opportunity to play in the Premier League.
Quaison could be the ideal January addition for a number of sides that are battling relegation this season.
5. Gaston Pereiro
Current club: PSV
Who should sign him? West Ham
If rumours are to be believed, West Ham are in the market for another attacking midfield player in January as a result of their recent injury problems.
Gaston Pereiro appears the ideal option for them, a player that would offer a lot now and potentially even more in the future.
Uruguay midfielder Pereiro has managed an impressive eight goals and three assists in Eredivisie this season and also featured in the Champions League group stages for PSV.
6. Joao Carvalho
Current club: Nottingham Forest
Who should sign him? Bournemouth
Nottingham Forest’s club-record deal to sign former Benfica midfielder Joao Carvalho was met with some surprise in June.
Carvalho has always been rated highly, so it was a surprise when he chose the Championship as the next best move in his career.
But we don’t expect the midfielder to stay with Forest for too long if they fail to earn promotion to the Premier League in the coming years.
The 21-year-old has three goals and six assists to his name so far this season and could be the ideal signing for Bournemouth after Lewis Cook was ruled out for the rest of the season earlier this month.
7. Juan Quintero
Current club: River Plate (on loan from FC Porto)
Who should sign him? Wolves
We’d love to see Quintero get a move to the Premier League in the near future and wouldn’t be at all surprised if Wolves are one of a number of clubs to be lining up a move for the talented midfielder.
Quintero, 25, has showcased his ability on a number of occasions at club and international level, but it seems he is currently too inconsistent for Porto’s liking.
His most recent act of magic was to blast in a late winner for River Plate in their Copa Libertadores victory over Boca Juniors earlier this month.
Given Wolves’ Portuguese ties, they’ll know all about Quintero from his time at Porto, and he is the calibre of player that you’d expect them to be targeting as they look to establish themselves in the Premier League.
8. Pablo Fornals
Current club: Villarreal
Who should sign him? Arsenal
Fornals, 22, is being linked with a number of top sides throughout Europe after some impressive performances in La Liga so far this season.
It would come at a price, but if it is creativity that you want, then Fornals is definitely the answer.
In his first season for Villarreal, Fornals assisted 12 goals for his team-mates – the joint-highest in La Liga in 2017/18, along with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.
Arsenal are reportedly considering an £18m deal for Ever Banega, who is 30, with Aaron Ramsey set to leave next summer and the situation surrounding Mesut Ozil becoming more confusing with every development.
But Fornals has a big future ahead of him. Signing the Spain international, who is said to have a €40 million release clause, would be another smart move from an Unai Emery side who already demonstrated astute scouting by landing Lucas Torreira several months ago.
9. Mateusz Klich
Current club: Leeds United
Who should sign him? Fulham
Klich has been one of Leeds’ best players so far this season and it looks as if they could be on their way to earning promotion, but it would be no surprise if there are Premier League clubs monitoring his progress in the Championship.
The 28-year-old has bags of experience having featured for the likes of Wolfsburg and FC Twente earlier in his career and has made 15 appearances for Poland to date.
Klich has managed five goals and five assists for Leeds so far this term and could be ideal for a side like Fulham, who are in desperate need of more goals and more creativity for striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.
10. Joao Felix
Current club: Benfica
Who should sign him? Chelsea
This lad can play.
West Ham tried and failed to lure the 19-year-old to the Premier League last season, but it’s no surprise they were unsuccessful given his ability.
Benfica will be hoping for a big fee when they do eventually sell Felix and he has been strongly linked with Chelsea in recent weeks.
It’s been reported that the Portuguese outfit have offered the midfielder a huge new contract in an attempt to fend off interest in recent weeks.
If Chelsea are looking for a long-term option to add some creativity to their midfield then Felix would be ideal.