Goalkeeper has been a problem position at Elland Road for quite some time, and it’s important that Marcelo Bielsa looks to bring in a quality new first-choice shot-stopper this month.
The 22-year-old Bailey Peacock-Farrell has done a solid enough job between the sticks, but his inexperience has led to some costly errors. As such, the pressure is on Leeds’s director of football, Victor Orta, to recruit an upgrade – even if only short term.
Adding a creative winger to the mix also makes sense. The departure of Samuel Saiz means the Whites now lack cover for star men Pablo Hernandez and Ezgjan Alioski.
Only one Championship outfit (interestingly, Aston Villa) has leaked more goals on home turf than the Canaries, so Daniel Farke will surely look to tighten up at the back.
A new central defender to play alongside Timm Klose may help, but so too would a defensive specialist to sit in front of the back four, adding a layer of much-needed protection.
Norwich score plenty, but acquiring a winger with an eye for goal may ease the strain on leading scorer Teemu Pukki. Turkey international Yusuf Yazici, 21, has been heavily linked. The pony-tailed wideman has been a revelation for Trabzonspor.
3. Sheffield United
If the Blades can land a suitable partner for leading scorer Billy Sharp, they could make a surprising push for an automatic promotion place.
Right now there’s too much responsibility on the 32-year-old, but if the right targetman arrives to play alongside him – or to give Sharp the occasional rest – Chris Wilder’s side will surely reap the benefits.
Whispers about bringing in Cardiff’s Gary Madine haven’t gone down particularly well with Blades fans, however, who feel their club should set their sights a little higher.
Wilder may also consider signing a right-wing-back. Kieron Freeman and George Baldock have both performed OK in that role, but if an opportunity to enhance the position arises, United should take it.
4. West Brom
As a centre-back of some distinction for the Baggies, Darren Moore knows exactly the area he needs to strength – the heart of his defence.
The West Brom boss has flitted between three and four at the back this term, and much of that is down to his search for the right formula defensively.
Ahmed Hegazi, Craig Dawson and Kyle Bartley have failed to show enough consistency, so the time has come to bring in a new, towering central defender.
There may be trouble ahead, too: If Leicester decide to recall their brilliant loanee Harvey Barnes – which seems likely, at this point – then Albion will also be in the market for a skilful creator.
Just four Championship teams have scored fewer goals than Boro, so this January it’s essential that Tony Pulis recruits a striker who can hit the ground running.
Britt Assombalonga and Jordan Hugill are decent frontmen, but the Riverside side still require new impetus at the top of the pitch after allowing Martin Braithwaite to join Leganes on loan.
Dutch winger Rajiv van la Parra, who has joined from Huddersfield Town, will add valuable pace and dynamism out wide, so all that’s needed now is a natural goalscorer. League One stars Josh Maja (Sunderland) and Jamal Lowe (Portsmouth) are two players who have been heavily linked.
Frank Lampard is scrambling around for centre-back cover, and it’s a wise move from the Rams’ gaffer. Curtis Davies and Craig Forsyth are out for the season, and Alex Pearce has joined Millwall on loan, which leaves just Richard Keogh and Fikayo Tomori as his recognised centre-halves.
The Rams might also benefit from a touch more dynamism in central midfield as they aim to secure another play-off finish this time out. Acquiring the services of an energetic box-to-box player would complement the players Lampard already has at his disposal.
7. Nottingham Forest
Uncertainty over Aitor Karanka’s future might be a stumbling block when it comes to releasing funds this month, but if Forest’s owners are as ambitious as they say they are, you’d expect some new faces to arrive at the City Ground.
Forest fans are also keen on Pompey winger Jamal Lowe – who would be a terrific signing judging by his form this season – but the East Midlanders probably have more need for change at the back.
While each of Karanka’s back four has been perfectly satisfactory, none of the Forest rearguard stands out as Premier League material. Therefore, reinforcements at full-back and in central defence may be the order this month.
Huge net losses caused by overspending during the Harry Redknapp and Gianfranco Zola regimes could cost Birmingham a points deduction, and it has almost certainly put paid to manager Garry Monk’s hopes of adding to his squad in January.
With finances threadbare, don’t expect too many incomings at St Andrew’s. Instead, keeping hold of his star men will be the priority.
Talk of a loan move for Derby’s Ikechi Anya is interesting, though – the Blues could benefit from an injection of pace and creativity.
There are whispers that the Hoops will be placed under a transfer embargo this month, so free agents replacing outgoing players will be their only hope of freshening up Steve McLaren’s squad.
The QPR head coach would love to beef up his options at the back, especially at centre-back, but his hands appear to be tied. Promoting youngsters from the U23s looks more viable.
Stories suggesting that former winger Adel Taarabt will rejoin the club from Benfica have been quashed by chairman Tony Fernandes.
10. Aston Villa
Dean Smith has already addressed the most urgent issue on his list by signing a new goalkeeper. Croatia international Lovre Kalinic should be an improvement on the floundering Orjan Nyland.
Next, Villa need to recruit a top-class centre-back. They’ve muddled on this term by using various options, but until James Chester has a better regular partner, the Birmingham side will remain wobbly at the back.
The absence of a quality defensive midfielder doesn’t help, so signing a player who can hold the framework of Smith’s side together could help Villa’s array of forwards thrive.
But even one of those could leave: it goes without saying that 16-goal loanee Tammy Abraham must be replaced if Villa lose him this month.
11. Bristol City
A successful Christmas period has strengthened Lee Johnson’s arm with the Bristol City board, so it will be fascinating to see if they back their young boss with funds this month.
To stand any chance of gatecrashing the promotion party, the Robins need a little more attacking sparkle. They still haven’t replaced the guile and goal output of striker Bobby Reid, and with none of their attacking midfielders delivering consistent assists or end product, Johnson will be eyeing wingers in the transfer market too.
Bristol City are a solid outfit, but signing a centre-forward and a quality wide man would give Johnson two extra match winners. They’ll be needed to turn draws into essential victories.