‘Tis the season, as they say. We’re all a little too old to have wish lists and expect that dream present under the tree, but we can hope… We can dream.

Spare a moment’s thought for the footballers around the world that have similar anxieties. They may have the kind of pay cheques that make us resent our parents for telling us to study and not play outside, but money can’t always buy the perfect gift.

Presents shouldn’t just be what people want; they should also be what people need.

Here are a few gift ideas for some of our favourite players going into 2017.

Money (for Nigerians)

Sometimes cash is the best gift. It’s not the most creative of ideas, but you can’t really go wrong with it. Unfortunately, there are a few football organisations that aren’t aware of this. The Super Eagles arrived at the Olympics in Rio just hours before their first match because of a problem with payment for their flight. Moreover, in recent months players have revealed that their teams haven’t paid them in a long while.

© PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty (and some creative licence)

Fair to say, this isn’t strictly an African problem. Ogenyi Onazi has said that Lazio failed to respond to his representative’s emails, faxes and calls in relation to unpaid money………but to be fair we have all done that before.

A minder (for Serge)

How many late nights have passed when you thought about doing something stupid but someone with a little bit more sense helps you not do something stupid. They took your phone away, gave you a coffee instead of another beer, or did something even more extreme.

Well, it might be the case that Serge Aurier has no one in his crew that does this for him, because 2016 has been a year of calamities. In February, he called star team-mate Angel Di Maria a ‘clown’ and called his boss a lot worse while on Periscope.

Furthermore in October, he was found guilty of assaulting a police office in a Paris nightclub, which makes me nervous just thinking about it. This guy could do with a helping hand…

New boots (for Odion)

Sports companies spend millions of pounds on research and development to create the best shoes for the international players they sponsor. Odion Ighalo wears the same boots as other Premier League stalwarts like Dimitri Payet and Romelu Lukaku and the cameras got a great view of them in 2015 as he couldn’t stop scoring for Watford.

However, 2016 has been a completely different story. He dropped off at the end of last season, and has managed just three League goals in over 10 months… yeesh. Maybe he needs to go back to basics and get a simpler boot, because those fancy Nikes just aren’t working.

Netflix subscription (for John)

Chelsea’s longest serving player (after John Terry) has not kicked a ball in anger this season. The Nigerian playmaker’s involvement has been non-existent as manager Antonio Conte prefers the rugged and energetic combination of Kanté and Matic. Clearly the man needs something to do over those cold weekends until he can secure a move. What better than catching up on some of America’s best shows or even some great African cinema like Mother of George?

A smart hat (for Gervinho)

The Ivorian is holding onto his hair for as long as is physically possible. During his time at Arsenal, he was maligned for his inconsistent performances and hairstyle that only accentuated what he was lacking up top. Over the last few years he has managed to be a bit smarter with his appearance wearing an extended head band on the pitch and an erray of caps off it.

The problem comes when the guy is at formal gatherings. You can’t rock a new balance cap with a tuxedo, so it’s essential that he finds a formal hat like a Trillby or a Fedora quick fast.

After all, it was a long time before we realised that Ne-yo looked like this.

Dance lessons (for everybody)

2016 will be remembered for a number of tragedies and developments that shocked and dismayed. However one of the less heavy trends of the last year is the dab. Musicians like Olamide dabbed. Film stars dabbed, and of course footballers didn’t want to be left out of the party.

Even though the dance blew up in 2015, footballers only really took note of the dance at the top of the year, with Man Utd’s Pogba the most notable of players taking part. The in October, two players dabbed… not after scoring a goal, but in the middle of the pitch during play.

When something like that happens, it is probably time to bid adieu to a trend. Maybe if we get some players some dance lessons, they can stop smelling their armpits on the football pitch.

Happy Christmas, one and all!