University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Transfer window: credit crunched?

The Badger

ByThe Badger

Jan 19, 2009

This month has seen the re-opening of the greatly detested Transfer Window where for one month football managers of all leagues attempt to ‘wheel and deal’ as much as possible to ensure their team is better prepared for the remainder of the football season. Although the common opinion of most managers is that the Transfer Window is a nonsense and is in fact very disruptive; the bright sparks at the FA think otherwise and appear loathed to change the current set-up. Therefore football fans have until the 2nd of February to hear their club linked with 100s of players and in reality probably only make one or two signings; unless you support Manchester City of course. What is for certain is that in today’s economic climate most Premier League teams do not have much spare cash available to buy new players and are having to face up to the reality of relying on the players that they already have; I say most with the obvious exception being Mark Hughes’ City who will have the luxury of a whole new starting eleven come February if the owners from Abu Dhabi have their way.

Kaka’s perfect hat-trick: Which one would you pay £100 million for?
Kaka’s perfect hat-trick: Which one would you pay £100 million for?
Therefore for obvious reasons, chiefly that they are now officially the richest club in the world, the Transfer Window could not open soon enough for Manchester City. However, so far the Window has not proved to be quite as fruitful as City fans had been hoping. Although they have signed Wayne Bridge from Chelsea, Manchester City have been thwarted in their attempts to sign Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn and Craig Bellamy and Scott Parker from West Ham. Whether that is because the respective clubs are holding out for as much money as they can possibly get remains to be seen. There is always the likelihood that City’s economic might will eventually prevail the closer we get to the Transfer Deadline.

Whether or not their bid to sign Kaka will prevail is another matter entirely, for the sake of the precedent it will set lets hope it doesn’t. If you believe what you read then Milan have been offered 100 million euros for Kaka’s service and Kaka himself has been offered a five year contract worth £500 000 a week. Considering the state of the economy today it is quite a sickening proposal. What makes City think they have the right to buy one of the best players in the world does not really come into the equation it seems when they can offer that kind of money, although one would think that Kaka must have serious doubts about moving to a club that are languishing just above the relegation zone. Whether it is even a sensible signing is another important question when you consider that attacking players are not what City are exactly lacking but rather they need better defenders and a solid defensive midfielder, although Kaka is of course an exceptional footballer and would no doubt help take City to a higher footballing level.

So apart from all the headlines and rumours that have been coming out of the blue half of Manchester this month; what else has been happening transfer wise. Well, Jermain Defoe has returned ‘home’ to Spurs and claims he never wanted to leave in the first place, Manchester United have signed two Serbians (Zoran Tosic and Adem Ljajic) from Partizan Belgrade in a combined package worth about 16 million pounds and have promptly loaned out the younger of the two, Ljajic, back to Belgarde and Lassana Diarra has swapped Portsmouth for Real Madrid in a deal worth 20 million euros and so far, that is about that. Although Arsenal are tipped to sign Andrei Arshavin and Aston Villa are very keen on a new striker, despite all the rumours, there is no certainty about what will prevail in the next two weeks and there is a likelihood that there will not be too much transfer action.

To be honest the story of the transfer window has been more one of ‘smaller’ clubs standing up to bids and enquiries about their star players, for instance Wigan have issued a hands off warning regarding a host of their players, Middlesbrough are determined to keep Stewart Downing and Sunderland feel likewise about Kenwyne Jones. Which is great and let’s hope these clubs manage to hold onto their star players, for if the bigger clubs always got their way then a repeat of this season where the league is so competitive would be most unlikely. Regardless Manchester City are determined to get their own way and if they do manage to get all the players they so desire come February then surely they won’t be languishing near the bottom of the league for much longer; although you can never be so sure, football is a funny old game!

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