Premier League

5 Players Huddersfield Should Target In January

 • by Thomas McIlroy
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Huddersfield Town’s Premier League start hasn’t been bad at all, with David Wagner’s side picking up 15 points from their opening 14 games.

They sit in 14th, a position they would love to be in come the end of the season.

But they have won just four times, scoring just nine goals, something which will have to improve if they have hopes of having a campaign that sees them end up still as a Premier League team.

Undoubtedly, they will strengthen in January, with Wagner admitting he has some names on his wishlist.

Back in September, he claimed he would be monitoring a number of targets before deciding whether he should make a move.

“At least we now have some further names on the radar, that we can now follow and get our heads around,” he said.

“We can see how they play in the season and see what they do.”

And with that in mind, we’ve identified five players we think they should be keeping an eye on before the transfer window opens.

Kenneth Zohore

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With Steve Mounié and Laurent Depoitre brought in this summer, it’s clear Wagner believes he needs a big man up front.

But with Mounié and Depoitre having scored just four goals between them, perhaps Huddersfield should look at bringing someone else up in front.

Cardiff City striker Kenneth Zohore was a Hull City and Brighton & Hove Albion transfer target in the summer, but Neil Warnock held strong and kept hold of him.

While they are in a promotion push, there is little chance of Cardiff wanting to sell, but if they fall off before January, there may be a chance of him becoming available.

Like Huddersfield’s current options, Zohore is a big striker, and a constant threat in the air. He would perfectly complement the playmakers who would play off him in the Terriers’ 4-2-3-1.

While it may be a league below, he’s averaged the most shots out of the trio this season – three per 90 compared to Mounié’s 2.05 and Depoitre’s 0.56.

Danny Ings

Liverpool’s forgotten man Danny Ings may not be the biggest guy up front, but he could offer something different for Wagner.

He claims he doesn’t want to leave Anfield, saying: “When you are at a club like Liverpool, it is not a club that you want to walk away from.

“It would grate on me for the rest of my career, and the rest of my life, if I had not done everything to give it my all.

“I still feel like I have a big part to play in this football club.”

He has a decent Premier League record – 11 in 35 games for Burnley and two in six for Liverpool.

If he can prove his fitness, he’d surely get a decent return from January.

While Ings may not be keen on a permanent move, a loan spell could be the best for both clubs – and Huddersfield can make one more domestic temporary move – they currently have Kasey Palmer on loan from Chelsea.

It could be to see how he fits in at Huddersfield, and if the move goes well, a permanent transfer in the summer could be the solution, as happened with Aaron Mooy last season.

Emmanuel Dennis

Emmanuel Dennis is thought to be a Huddersfield transfer target, with the Terriers reportedly sending scouts to watch the Nigerian in action for Club Brugge.

The 19-year-old is also the subject of Manchester United and Arsenal transfer rumours, so it wouldn’t be easy to convince him to make the move to the John Smith’s Stadium.

He’s a very exciting prospect indeed, who has the skills to either play up front or on the wing.

Dennis has a quick turn of pace and is a deadly finisher too – his record in Belgium is hugely impressive.

Since he joined from Zorya Luhansk this summer, he has eight goals in 11 games for Club Brugge.

Of course, the Premier League is a step up from Belgium and Ukraine, but he has the potential to perform and give defences headaches in one of the best leagues in Europe – and on the counter-attack, he could prove to be a dangerous weapon in Huddersfield’s armoury.

Tom Cairney

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If Huddersfield were looking for a Championship side that played most like them last season, it was arguably Fulham.

With that in mind, it was no surprise they took left-back Scott Malone from Craven Cottage in the summer.

The Whites were among the favourites for promotion this season, but currently sit in tenth in the Championship.

That could be because they’ve been without Tom Cairney, who’s been injured, but by the time he returns, there may be fears over a Premier League push if they carry on not being at their best without him.

And while he is Fulham captain, he is also ambitious and may find it hard to turn down a Premier League move.

Huddersfield fans may disagree because of Mooy, but he was arguably the best midfielder in the Championship last season – scoring 13 goals and notching up ten assists.

Cairney had the best passing accuracy in the 2016/17 Championship season – a ridiculously good 92.6 per cent.

Given that the quality of his passes are so accurate, it’s also hugely impressive that he made the most passes in the Championship: 3623.

The player with the second most passes in England’s second tier was Mooy with 3101.

Cairney wouldn’t come cheap, but being able to play in the deeper two or anywhere across attacking three in a 4-2-3-1, he could be a vital addition and it would be a surprise if he isn’t playing Premier League football sooner rather than later.

What’s more, he’s spent a lot of time in Yorkshire, having come through the Leeds United youth system and breaking through at Hull.

Omar Elabdellaoui

Huddersfield captain Tommy Smith is undoubtedly the first-choice right-back for Wagner, but Martin Cranie as a back-up is a decent option but lacks Premier League experience.

Before this season, his only football in England’s top flight was in 2007/08 with Portsmouth, when he made two appearances.

Wagner’s side have generally been very good at the back, but Premier League experience would be useful.

They could look at Olympiakos right-back Omar Elabdellaoui, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Hull as Marco Silva nearly saved them from relegation.

The 25-year-old is highly-rated though, and it’s thought he’s also a Watford transfer target, with Silva keen on a reunion at his new club.

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