So the transfer window has finally ended and whatever squads managers now have is what they’ll have to make do with. The big question is how did they all get on? With an international break upon us, we’ve got plenty of time to reflect on how teams have changed and what the implications are for the rest of the season.
1. Fingers Crossed For Fit Strikers
This season is sure to be an interesting one for fantasy strikers with them being in short supply at certain clubs. Despite bringing in Ozil, Wenger was unable to bring in another forward and if Giroud (£8.8m) picks up a long-term injury, Arsenal could be in some serious bother. The same can be said of West Ham, where they have backtracked on letting Carlton Cole go, bringing him back at the last minute as support for Carroll, who should return in Gameweek 4, although he should be set for a bench role.
On the other hand, Villa were able to bring in Kozak (£6.5m) who will join Helenius as backup for the Belgian beast that is Benteke in the event that he picks up an injury. Everton also pulled off a last minute surprise with the signing of Lukaku on loan, who has dropped all the way down to £7.4m. With Jelavic struggling to fire, Lukaku is sure to be given his opportunity following the match against Chelsea, which he is ineligible for.
2. Change Isn’t Always Good
For United fans, it has been a summer to forget. Transfer dealings led by Moyes and new chief executive, Ed Woodward, have been nothing short of shambolic. Bid after bid has been rejected and were it not for the last minute signing of Fellaini, United fans would have wanted blood. These are incredible scenes from the current Premier League champions, who have now been made third favourites for the title. It makes you wonder why Fergie and David Gill would let this happen to a club they cherish so dearly.
Question marks remain over Moyes and if he fails to deliver this season, people will look back at this transfer window as the starting point. City had a similar summer following their own title-winning campaign, where injuries to important players like Aguero proved costly in their title defence. Moyes will be praying his heart out that similar injury troubles don’t haunt someone like RVP.
3. Why Leave It To The Last Minute?
We all love the drama of deadline day but surely teams don’t do this for our entertainment so why do some insist on leaving things to the very last minute? Targets should be outlined before the window even begins and transfers should be completed within the first few weeks. Obviously, it’s impossible to do this for all players as one transfer can have a knock-on effect, leading to someone new being available but for the majority it should be possible.
Teams leading the way this summer were Villa, who started the window with a whole host of new players and City, who were able to conclude deals for big names such as Navas, Negredo and Jovetic. This allows players to get to know their team mates, get settled in with their private lives and adjust to the new surroundings. If teams are unable to do this, we may well see more of them follow City and Spurs in appointing sporting directors, it definitely worked out for the two of them (although Joe Kinnear proved that he’s definitely no keymaker).
4. European Teams Are The Way Forward
Whilst, various English teams were frantically trying to seal last minute deals, other European leagues including the Bundesliga sat back and enjoyed the entertainment. Sporting directors are the norm for most European sides, who conclude their transfer business well before the deadline day and offer proof that the transfer window doesn’t necessarily need to be closed before the season starts.
City and Spurs have followed their lead with Txiki Begiristain and Franco Baldini, respectively. They have both proven to be influential figures in this summer’s transfer window, ensuring that both sides have made significant improvements. Despite Bale’s late departure, Baldini was able to bring in attacking reinforcements almost instantly, with Spurs signing both Eriksen (£8.0m) and Lamela (£9.0m).
5. Loyalty Does Sometimes Exist
Despite significant transfer rumblings from both Rooney (£10.5m) and Suarez (£10.9m), they both decided to change their decisions and stay with their respective sides. The key moment for Rooney, surprisingly, came from his appearance against the side he actually wanted to sign for. It was an excellent decision from Moyes and one which was so simple, yet brilliant. The reaction from the crowd stirred something deep inside the Shrek lookalike and suddenly the grass wasn’t greener on the other side.
For Suarez it seemed no team other than Arsenal were willing to take a gamble on the wild and talented Uruguayan. When Arsenal realised just how much he would cost them, their interest quickly dissolved. It was also clear that Madrid’s target was Gareth Bale and in the end they got their man. This left Suarez little option and he chose to reward Liverpool’s loyalty with a little of his own.
Whether these two players will still be at United and Liverpool at the start of next season remains to be seen but for now, Moyes and Rodgers will be very happy men in the knowledge that they’ve held onto two of the stars of the Premier League.
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