Opinions on the transfer window this summer are, at best, mixed. In many ways it seems that the magic of player transfers, and certainly the entertaining sideshow that was deadline day, has rather subsided. This is largely down to the incredible inflation of transfer prices detaching the top flight of the sport from reality in today’s harsh world. On deadline day people will point to the transfer fees being moved about for the likes of Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain and Danny Drinkwater and wondering how much longer the joke can run for. But take away the business aspect, and aside from, of course, the excitement of talent being collected, there were a number of good things on display. Here are five good points to take away from deadline day and the summer in general
Clubs Stand Up To Egos
Whilst it’s not always clear cut, on the whole when a players starts kicking up a fuss and handing in transfer requests because the elite club they’re playing for isn’t quite elite enough for them, or they suddenly don’t like the long term contract they willingly signed, it’s hard to feel sorry for them. So to see the likes of Phillipe Coutinho and Virgil Van Dijk in the same places they started the summer is quite satisfying. Coutinho might now see a Liverpool side generally in the ascendency as opposed to a declining Barcelona and Van Dijk can set about learning some humility. One might not blame Alexis Sanchez for wanting to leave the shitshow that is Arsenal, but the same contractual obligation applies. Diego Costa has the right to be aggrieved at Chelsea’s attitude towards him but he lost his credit in his self imposed exile. The tide has started to swing towards sulking individuals failing to get the sweet end of the stick and hopefully this becomes a continued trend even in an era of ludicrous finances.
Jadon Sancho – Player Power We Can Get Behind
One player who was right to stand up to his club was actually one who few fans will have heard of before this week, but his name could soon be in popular diction. Jadon Sancho was one of the stars of England successful youth tournament summer, featuring in the U-17 squad who reached the European Championship final, contributing 5 goals and 5 assists, and with his form at youth level for Manchester City screaming out as being of a player above the level of his compatriots at that age. The problem there is that Manchester City have a poor track record in seriously promoting their youth talent, and as such Jadon is one of the few players who can genuinely say his career was in trouble at the club he was at. The youngster demanded a move and Borrusia Dortmund have stepped up with a reported £10m fee and the prestigious number 7 shirt, previously held by £100m departee Ousmane Dembele. Dortmund have become a celebrated hunting ground for young prospects in recent years and you can’t write off Sancho raising eyebrows in the near future.
The Mid-Table Is Getting Stronger
Mamadou Sakho returned to Crystal Palace, Grzegorz Krychowiak joined West Brom, Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony went to Swansea. Jese joined Stoke, Watford added a very promising Brazilian in Richarlison and Huddersfield look like they should give the recruitment team a big pay rise. Over the whole window we saw some very positive moves to supposedly less fashionable clubs and every club will feel like they’ve made a really significant addition at some point, except maybe Newcastle. In recent years it’s been suggested that the very best quality has found its way to Spain or Germany, but the competitiveness has kept the allure of the Premier League alive. With £100m deals going on across the border, but some tidy mid table outfits coming together, that sentiment looks like being well reinforced again this year.
Non-League Still Gets Recognised
On deadline day alone we saw Aaron Jarvis move from Basingstoke to Luton, Oliver Hawkins move from Dagenham to Portsmouth and Dave Tarpey from Maidenhead to Barnet. Hardly the most lucrative or media friendly transfers, but recently the National League and below has been a fruitful source of hidden gems – not so much in the Jamie Vardy mould but we’ve seen more and more teams in the top 4 divisions recognising the ability of homegrown talent at these levels. This is hugely encouraging for the future of the our grassroots football, as knowing that there is a pathway up the football pyramid will increase interest at local levels and encourage talented prospects to make the admittedly tough decision to drop a but lower down for the sake of their careers. All this leads to the fact that…
Your local team is gaining talent
The influx of foreign talent in the Premier League has been much maligned for the negative impact on youth development and the number of academy products getting a break at first team level. But this leads to a simple equation – the higher the bar for breaking in at Premier League level, the higher the ability of released players is, the greater the talent pool for lower leagues teams getting free transfers and loans is. It’s not ideal at National Team level, but if you want to save a few quid and go back to something resembling traditional football a little bit more, the draw for going to watch a smaller local side should be greater because inherently better players are coming in at that level.
Have you been a fan of this transfer window? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!