Crystal Palace eventually ran out of patience with Alan Pardew following a dismal run of just one win in 11 outings, turning instead to survival specialist Sam Allardyce on a two-and-a-half year contract before the busy festive period. FA Cup final run aside, the Eagles endured a truly miserable 2016 with only six wins to their name from 37 Premier League matches - an awful sequence that left them just one point above the relegation zone and staring nervously over their shoulders.
It might well be that Palace would have been spared a first return to the Championship since 2013 anyway simply due to the sheer incompetence of current bottom-feeders Sunderland, Swansea City and Hull City, but the right additions in January could ease any lingering fears of the drop and help solve an injury crisis that Pardew previously admitted was putting a real strain on his squad.
What they need
Palace are simply dreadful at keeping clean sheets, so defensive strengthening will surely be a major priority. The acquisition of a new natural left-back should be top of the list, with Pape Souare still unsure when he will be able to return from a broken thigh bone and jaw suffered during a serious car crash on the M4 back in September.
With injury-plagued Chelsea loanee Loic Remy yet to feature for the club, Jonathan Benteke out and Connor Wickham lost for the season following surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament, a new striker would also help to alleviate some of the pressure on Christian Benteke.
Who could join?
Despite Pardew's denials, out-of-favour Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has been routinely mentioned in connection with a move to Selhurst Park. The Guardian reported that Aston Villa's Rudy Gestede and Leicester City frontman Leonardo Ulloa previously topped the list of forward targets, with a loan deal for Ben Davies – understudy to Danny Rose at Tottenham Hotspur – a possible solution to that left-back problem.
The same publication also discussed Charlie Taylor, Kieran Tierney and Neil Taylor as other potential options. The Mail claimed that Santos have offered Brazil international Lucas Lima a new contract in order to ward off Palace's interest in a £7.5m ($9.2m) January deal, while James McCarthy and Aleksandar Mitrovic were each linked by The Mirror and The Express respectively.
Which of those players will remain on the radar after that aforementioned managerial change is anybody's guess at this juncture. The Sun believe that Allardyce could make a move for Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs amid competition from relegation rivals Swansea City and The Mirror assert that he is keen for a reunion with evergreen Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe. Watch this space.
Who could leave?
Surplus to requirements under Pardew, midfielder Jordon Mutch has emerged as a January target for Jaap Stam and surprise second-tier promotion contenders Reading. Celtic and Aston Villa are also said to be monitoring the 25-year-old, although the appointment of Allardyce could lead to a clean slate and a fresh opportunity to prove his worth.
Chairman Steve Parish was highly dismissive of Tottenham's £12m summer swoop for Wilfried Zaha, labelling it as "ridiculous" while reassuring concerned Palace supporters that the gifted if temperamental winger - supposedly thought of as the next Cristiano Ronaldo by Mauricio Pochettino - was an integral part of the club's plans moving forward.
Seemingly not dissuaded by that public derision, the Mail suggest that Spurs are ready to return with another offer this month. It would, however, come as a massive shock if Allardyce were to sanction the departure of such a crucial asset so soon after replacing Pardew and with Palace, who have supposedly slapped a £30m price tag on Zaha, embroiled in an ongoing scrap for survival.
What the manager has said
"I'll sit down with the recruitment team and the chairman and really you've got to look at the availability today and January is a very difficult window," Allardyce told Palace TV, according to the London Evening Standard. "Also we've got to try and make sure we protect the players we've got and the rumours that might float around that people might be interested in our players is also of great concern when you're a manager because that can be very disruptive and put a player off his game.
"We're certainly going to try and recruit and try and make the squad a little bit bigger with a little bit more strength in depth but I think the players here are good enough [to stay up]. But if we can add to that, let's try and do it."