Aberdeen will, like every other club in the Premiership, be looking to strengthen in this transfer window.
However, what they need to push on and who they can get is difficult to judge.
The Dons remain fourth in the table behind Rangers, Celtic and Kilmarnock. They’re in the title race, so they are not in a dire situation.
Derek McInnes will be restricted in his budget and January is – as is said time and again – never a good time to try and bring players in.
However, it goes without saying a list of targets will have been drawn up between the manager and the Pittodrie scouting network, with the aim to emerge from the current break in fixtures and window stronger.
The manager may have to again look to the loan market to get sufficient quality.
Right-sided centre-back Tommie Hoban is now set to return from the shoulder injury which has ruled him out for most of the campaign so far and will be at the training camp in Dubai this week.
His loan from Watford has disappointed so far, but the positive is he will now be like the first new signing of the window for Aberdeen.
I’m sure the fans are excited about seeing what he can do in the time he’s got left at Pittodrie.
With fellow injury returnees Mikey Devlin and Mark Reynolds, Hoban will provide much-needed cover in a defence stretched to its limits by injury and suspensions this term.
The Dons came through a nine-game December really well considering these issues, with Andy Considine, usually at left-back, having to play alongside Scott McKenna in the heart of defence.
Of course, Derby loanee Max Lowe is back at his parent club and will no longer be an option on the left.
However, there’s a strong possibility the Reds will return from the Premiership shutdown with more depth at the back.
This hinges quite heavily on McKenna, subject of a £7 million bid in the summer from Aston Villa and several smaller bids, being retained.
A replacement for Lowe will still be a priority in the transfer window, as has been confirmed by McInnes, with everyone around the club seeing the benefits of a marauding wing-back type player on the left as another option to the more traditional full-back Considine.
What’s unclear is what players will be sought for midfield and upfront.
This month will possibly bring news on whether skipper Graeme Shinnie and creative winger Gary Mackay-Steven – both in the last six months of their deals – will be staying on or signing pre-contracts with other clubs, which could affect McInnes’ recruitment strategy.
They could even end up leaving this month.
There have been calls for more inventiveness in midfield, but McInnes may look to get £150,000 summer acquisition Chris Forrester firing in the second half of the campaign instead of bringing someone new in.
Forrester – bought to replace Kenny McLean – hasn’t made much of an impact in a red shirt.
Manchester United loanee James Wilson, who was expected to be Aberdeen’s main striker this term, has fallen behind Sam Cosgrove – who found plenty of goals in December – and Stevie May in the pecking order.
However, he is at Pittodrie for the season.
Youngster Bruce Anderson has been ruled out for two months with a calf injury, something McInnes has stated will mean a striker needs to be brought in for cover.
Even with Cosgrove’s current purple patch, which hasn’t been too long, I still think the club will look to get someone in.
On top of all this, there may also be the room for another wide player in addition to Mackay-Steven, Connor McLennan and Niall McGinn.