Coral’s five January signings for Real Sociedad boss David Moyes
David Moyes has started life in Spain with Real Sociedad reasonably well, losing just one of his first eight games in all competitions and keeping five clean sheets. The result which has elevated the Scot’s status among fans, though, was the recent 1-0 win over Barcelona in La Liga.
However, the former Manchester United manager wants to stamp his own methods onto his new team, and has confirmed he wants to go with what he knows and bring in UK talent in January that can suit his style and philosophies.
“If there’s one market I know best at the moment then it’s the British market,” Moyes said. “That’s not to say the only players we would look to bring in would be from the UK. We’ve got our own scouting network working in Spain and abroad.
“I’d like to add one or two to the squad, but on loan if it can be done. I’ve got one or two in mind and maybe some from back home who would like the opportunity to come and play in Spain.
“You never know. January is never a great time for transfers. It can be difficult. If they’re the right ones to add I’d be keen to bring them in.”
Therefore, football writers at Coral have come up with a list of five players from or based in the UK that can help the Scotsman deliver success back to Basque side Sociedad. Defenders are not as much of an issue for Moyes at present, so here are a handful of more attacking talent.
The Stoke City midfielder has been linked to Sociedad this season, with the Scotland international seemingly responding in positive fashion to those reports a couple months ago, saying: “I would love the experience of playing abroad because it’s certainly something different.”
Adam, whose current club are 7/4 for a top 10 finish, has not started in the last 11 Premier League games this term and, with his agent being Moyes’ brother, the Spanish side could land him on the cheap.
Another Scot on this list, teenager Gauld was sold to Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon in the summer, but has yet to feature in their first team.
He has played regularly in their reserves, though, and Sociedad could offer him a short term escape on loan to get his confidence back in Iberia, with compatriots Moyes and his assistant Billy McKinlay with the Basques. Gauld’s skilful style could also suit the Spanish way.
Moyes has signed Pienaar twice before whilst at Everton, and the South African is out of favour at Goodison Park under current boss Roberto Martinez, having featured in just eight Premier League games all campaign, mainly from the bench.
Although now 32 years old, Pienaar can still do a job for top-flight teams, and his tricky, flowing style, learned at Ajax’s famed academy, would be useful for Sociedad, as they currently lack creativity.
While not yet many know his name, 18-year-old Scottish attacker Harper is on 11/4 Champions League chances Real Madrid’s books, playing in their Under-19s team, for whom he has three goals and as many assists for in the UEFA Youth League this term. He scored and set one up against Liverpool in that competition.
Harper was born in Spain but to Scottish parents, and has declared himself to play for the British nation, although is yet to represent them at senior level. He is certainly an exciting starlet, and Moyes has a good reputation for giving youngsters a chance, such as Wayne Rooney and Ross Barkley at Everton, plus Adnan Januzaj, another linked on loan to Sociedad, at Man Utd.
Would be a fantastic temporary signing to give Carlos Vela and Alfreo Finnbogason backup in attack.
Watford winger Anya already has experience in Spain, spending time in the Glenn Hoddle Academy before going onto play for Celta Vigo, Granada and Cadiz. But it is at the Hornets (11/4 promotion chances) in the Championship where the Scotland international has impressed most, and his performances have helped him being linked with Premier League sides.
However, Anya may fancy his chances back on the continent and under compatriot Moyes in Spain’s top-flight.