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World Cup wish: Maddison to actually play? January transfer plans sorted?

James Maddison, Antonio Conte and Julian Alvarez
What will the six-week hiatus from the Premier League hold for James Maddison, Antonio Conte and Julian Alvarez?

It’s finally here – the planes have landed, the players are acclimatising and the sweepstakes are being compiled.

But what’s your club’s biggest wish for the World Cup in Qatar?

Arsenal

Charlene Smith, AFTVexternal-link

Bukayo Saka plays a vital role for England and I’m confident he will make some World Cup appearances. It will be a proud moment if he scores.

Gareth Southgate will be happy he took my advice and brought Ben White along and I’m excited to see him get some minutes too.

Aston Villa

Richard Sutherland, The Villa Park Podcastexternal-link

Two straight league wins, including our first away from home of the campaign and beating Manchester United at Villa Park for the first time since 1995, has been a dream start for Unai Emery.

I hope the players left behind keep developing under him because, if they can, we will have an exciting second half of the season.

Bournemouth

Tom Jordan, Back of the Netexternal-link

We just want Bournemouth to hire a manager. There remains uncertainty on whether Gary O’Neil will be given the permanent job, or if the club is looking elsewhere.

Links to Kjetil Knutsen and Marcelo Bielsa keep fluctuating – therefore, a plan and decision is now crucial.

Brentford

Ian Westbrook, Beesottedexternal-link

My hope is that Denmark’s Mikkel Damsgaard, who has had a slow start to his Bees career, can recreate his sparkling Euros form in Qatar and come back to us a revitalised player.

He can then play a key role in the second half of the season.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Stuart Matthews, Proud Seagullsexternal-link

We’re seventh going into the break, the best we have been in decades. So my wish is that Brighton use the period to regroup, reorganise and get ready for the January transfer window wisely.

Oh, and to make sure we DO NOT let Chelsea, or any other club for that matter, steal our best players.

Chelsea

Ross Mooring, Chelsea Fancastexternal-link

For our players, especially the English ones, to return healthy.

It was gutting to see Reece James and Ben Chilwell miss out, as well as N’Golo Kante, Wesley Fofana and Kepa.

If anything happened to Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount or even Conor Gallagher it will be one step forwards, two steps back.

Crystal Palace

Jay Crame, The Eagles Beakexternal-link

The schedule has been hectic, with little time to plan each week. My wish is for manager Patrick Vieira to focus on our weaknesses, both on the training ground and in the run-up to the transfer window – planning in one or two new additions to complement what we already have.

Everton

Briony Bragg, This Fan Girlexternal-link

Jordan Pickford: Deliver for England like you always do, as our number one.

Conor Coady: Be the voice you were in the Euros. England need your leadership, on or off the bench.

Do that and you’ll return strong and confident for Everton’s run in.

Fulham

Dan Crawford, Hammy Endexternal-link

My one wish for the World Cup? Call it off. It should never have been given to Qatar, nor allowed to interrupt the winter domestic schedule.

But since that won’t happen now, I’ll settle for strong performances from Fulham’s six representatives before the Premier League season resumes on Boxing Day.

Leeds United

Jess Furness, Her Game Tooexternal-link

The Leeds board needs to devise a serious plan of action for the January transfer window and not go into it half-heartedly.

We need a left-back and striker to join the squad – at least. In 2021-22, we didn’t strengthen in the winter window and we must learn from that big mistake.

Leicester City

Sam Holloway, LeicesterFanTVexternal-link

My wish is that James Maddison actually plays. Yes, we’re all happy he’s been picked, but I hope he isn’t just a bench warmer and comes on, or even starts, in some matches.

Leicester fans all want to see our boy in blue show what he’s made of.

Liverpool

Jordan Chamberlain, Empire of the Kopexternal-link

Genuinely, that nobody gets injured.

I don’t agree with this World Cup. It doesn’t excite me.

Luckily, Liverpool only have seven players competing and, of those, only Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Darwin Nunez will start. It would be nice if Nunez continued his good form and scored a few, but honestly the fewer minutes the better.

Manchester City

Ger Deegan, Maine Road Rambleexternal-link

I hope Julian Alvarez continues developing, improving and scoring goals at international level.

He has played non-stop for more than a year after joining in the summer, but hopefully he’s young and fit enough not to get burned out and to impress alongside Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez for Argentina.

Manchester United

Bill Rice, BBC Radio Manchester

The hope will be Cristiano Ronaldo plays well enough for Portugal to attract a suitor to take him in January.

After his recent criticisms of the club, his team-mates and the manager, him moving on as soon as possible should avoid his histrionics overshadowing the rest of Manchester United’s campaign and allow the rest of the team to concentrate on pushing for a Champions League place.

Newcastle United

Pete Davey, LoadedMag NUFCexternal-link

The obvious wish is for our players to return fit and healthy but for me it is very simple…

Five weeks without the Premier League gives us the perfect chance to secure a top signing for January. Mykhailo Mudryk, Moussa Diaby, Christian Pulisic, Cody Gakpo, James Maddison?…

Any of the above please!

Nottingham Forest

Ben Dore, Dore On Tourexternal-link

The World Cup break gives Nottingham Forest the opportunity to take stock.

Steve Cooper will get good time on the training pitch with the majority of the squad, and the recruitment team will be looking for a striker and a centre-half who could prove vital to Premier League survival.

Southampton

Ray Hunt, In That Numberexternal-link

Saints are in a unique position. It’s a mid-season pre-season for new manager Nathan Jones, so I want him to step in and use it to put the team back on track, instil confidence and get us scoring.

This new era brings positivity with it, and this is an ideal pause for the manager, the players and the fans.

Tottenham Hotspur

Anna Howells, Spurs XYexternal-link

Three goals in Qatar for Harry Kane and he will leave as England’s all-time top goalscorer – but that will happen anyway.

My one wish is for manager Antonio Conte to agree a new contract. It would please the fans, give continuity to the playing squad and also indicate financial backing in the January window.

West Ham United

Mia Claydon, Green Street Hammersexternal-link

A David Moyes reset.

The last few weeks have been a struggle, with many calling for Moyes to be axed. He now has a considerable period of time to reconsider his game plan and scout players for the January transfer window – because something has to change.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Dazzling Dave, Always Wolves Fan TVexternal-link

My wish is for the break to allow new boss Julen Lopetegui to put his stamp on this lacklustre Wolves team. We have fantastic individual players, so five weeks of training and a camp in Marbella should provide an opportunity to reset.

Hopefully he can get Wolves off the bottom and climbing the table.

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