Julen Lopetegui admits that Sevilla need to strengthen significantly this January

Julen Lopetegui has admitted Sevilla need to strengthen during this January transfer window in comments carried by Marca.

The Basque will lose three key players to the African Cup of Nations in Munir, Bono and Youssef En-Nesyri, and is entering a pivotal period of the season that could make or break the Andalusian outfit’s nascent title challenge.

Sevilla are five points behind Real Madrid with a game in hand as things stand, but a bad run of results could see them lose ground.

“It’s clear that we’ve needed reinforcements for a long time,” Lopetegui said. “The market is open and the question [of whether they’ll be active] is one that only Monchi can answer.

“But if you ask me, I’ll say that we need players as soon as possible and the best possible ones we can afford. We need to reinforce ourselves, without a doubt.

“It’s evident in which positions we need players. There are players who’ve been out practically all season, like Suso and [Erik] Lamela, and now the African Cup of Nations leaves us with two forwards out of six, something we’ve been working with for ages.”

Sevilla haven’t been playing scintillating football so far this campaign but they have been grinding out important results with a consistency that’s left them Madrid’s sole challengers.

On Monday evening they beat Cadiz 1-0 in an Andalusian Derby, the decisive goal coming from Argentina attacker Lucas Ocampos. He’s hitting form, but Sevilla are otherwise lacking goalscorers.

Sevilla face Real Zaragoza in the Copa del Rey tomorrow evening before welcoming Getafe to the Sanchez-Pizjuan this Sunday.

Tags Julen Lopetegui Sevilla