Beginning, Middle Or End Of Transfer Window, Does It Really Matter When A New Signing Is Made?

Posted: May 10, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers
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It’s approaching that time of the year when supporters of football clubs around Europe start to get excited about who their club may buy in the upcoming transfer window.

This period of excitement is usually followed, when the window actually opens, by many days of disappointment as fans get up each morning to the news that their beloved club has bought……..nobody! Not yet anyway.

The thoughts of the majority of managers these days is to get their transfer business out of the way early in the window so that any new arrivals will have the maximum amount of time possible to get to know their new team mates.

This process will involve going on any pre-season tours and playing a few friendly games together so that, hopefully, when the new season starts, everybody is ready to go.

It makes a lot of sense but is there any proof that it actually makes any real difference whether a player is signed early in the window or late?

Last summer, for example, Manchester United bought Romelu Lukaku who slotted into the team immediately and never looked as though he needed time to settle. They also bought Victor Lindelof who still hasn’t nailed down a spot in the team. So, with these two, and for different reasons, there is actually no proof that getting the business done early is beneficial to anyone in particular.

Obviously, it does give the new boys more time, before engaging in competitive games, to learn about their colleagues but it doesn’t necessarily mean they can adapt to the type of football their new team plays.


Radamel Falcao – Never really got to grips with the Premier League

Radamel Falcao never adapted to life at either Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge. Álvaro Morata is already struggling at Chelsea and there is talk of him moving on this summer. Look at the examples, also at Chelsea, of Mo Salah and Kevin De Bruyne. Yes, mistakes may have been made in selling them but there were obviously no signs of the players they were about to become when they were at Stamford Bridge.

Even Manchester City, runaway winners of the Premier League, get it wrong occasionally.Where is Scott Sinclair now? He is at Celtic with his old boss Brendan Rodgers. How about Claudio Bravo? Pep’s controversial signing to replace Joe Hart in goal.

He went from being quite good at Barcelona to being rubbish at City.

Arsenal have signed Danny Welbeck who, as all United fans knew he would, has spent most of his time in London on the treatment table.

There have also been players signed by Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur who have been unable to adapt to their new team regardless of how early in the transfer window they were signed.

The truth is that good scouts will get you good players. They will have watched those players enough times to have seen them have good games, bad games and the occasional indifferent game. They will know how likely they are to be able to settle in a new city with a new team because they will have done their homework on them and will be aware that, for example, Jesus Navas who signed for Manchester City a few years ago, was a player who, during his younger years, became very homesick whenever he left Seville.

That made him a slightly risky signing because, although he had matured and was no longer showing signs of his homesickness, there was always the chance that it would resurface. It didn’t and he had a reasonably good time at The Etihad before being sold last year to guess who? Correct, back to his hometown team Sevilla.


The scouting process – No mention, at this stage, of anything outside of football which can be more important to the player!

So good scouting of good players is far more important than when they actually sign a contract.

We have written more than one article in the past lamenting the job done by the majority of the “top” scouts. Watching the best players in Europe and then recommending them to your club hardly seems like a job requiring a drawerful of brains. Yet this is often what happens.

No homework is done to check if the player will settle into a new life in a new country easily or not. No homework appears to be done as to whether the player gets on with other players or not. It just seems to be the case that a scout watches a player, recommends him to his club and picks up some very easy money.

The most important consideration when signing any player has to be whether he is good enough for your team or not, then the rest can be sorted out.

If your club’s new signing is good enough or improves the team, then it doesn’t really matter if he is signed at the beginning of the transfer window or the end, in summer or in winter. Top class players are still top class players even during the close season!

  1. RedMe says:

    The worst thing is when you wake up and your beloved club has bought a player that you know will never fit in such as Angel di Maria.


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