The Summer of Transfer Tedium - Premier League Passion
Is it just me or has this transfer window been, well, boring.
Saga after saga, underwhelming stories, the lack of any real marquee signing to these shores and this league all adding up to a summer of tediousness for the Premier League transfer market.
We were teased brilliantly by the media touting the return of Cristiano Ronaldo and new faces to the league such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robert Lewandowski. In fact the media seemed to have linked every superstar of the game for a move to England and the promised land of the Premier League and none of it has come to fruition.
There are at the time of writing 3 days to go until the window slams shut and only Man City and Spurs have spent big. Is this a sign of the times now that clubs in England are tightening their purse strings in lieu of marquee signings? I hope not because if they are how are the Premier League teams supposed to compete with the likes of spend happy clubs in Europe such as Paris St Germain, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Monaco and Bayern Munich?
What frustrates me even more is the fact that Madrid aside with the Gareth Bale saga, which I will come to in a moment, all of the other clubs mentioned got their business done and dusted early doors this summer ready for pre-season to begin, giving their new team-mates time to gel and form a solid unit rather than just a group of players.
If Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool do manage to finally get some new talent in before Monday night then they are already three games behind the rest of the team and the settling in period will be delayed. The clubs would just cross their fingers and hope that it is the best case scenario and the new faces slot straight in without disruption.
Let me just recap the major signings of the summer for a moment. Manchester City have brought in four new faces, all with great potential but at the same time not the sort of player that as an opposition fan immediately fears. The reputations of Fernandinho, Navas, Jovetevic and Negredo were that of good players, very good but to me at least they didn’t strike any fear or even that pang of jealousy you get when one of your big rivals signs a new player.
The same can be said at Chelsea, Willian is a good signing but again doesn’t make me sit back and think ah shit I wish my team had been in for him. De Brunye and Schurlle have potential but that’s OK I can live with that. Spurs have strengthened well to the point now where they are just one player short up front of mounting a serious title challenge. £25m for Soldado seemed a little on the high side but if he bangs in the goals this season that pushes Tottenham up the league it will be money well spent but still it doesn’t fill me with envy.
Where is this year’s Premier League BIG name signing. Much of it could be hanging on the outcome of the Bale to Madrid story that has managed to annoy pretty much everyone over the entire summer. It seems as if he will go, all is set, the manager has admitted it and the player has done his toys out of the pram routine by not reporting to training. If this was the case all along why didn’t Spurs just do the deal in June before the day upon day speculative headline filled the morning papers and every football related website across the world? At this point I just wish it was over and done with, as probably do most, including Spurs fans. It will be sad to see one of the country’s most talented players leave the league, let us just hope that the reported world record £84m transfer fee doesn’t pressurise him too much and he shows Spain exactly what he can do.
Would this move in turn ignite the Ronaldo back to Manchester United transfer which has also been a continuous story over the past six months? I doubt it very much to be honest now, if it was going to happen it would have happened a long time ago but it does make you wonder just why Manchester United haven’t made a big move and of course why the number 7 was vacated this season by Antonio Valencia. Yes he has said he felt the strain of playing in the legendary shirt but it fuelled the rumour mill. The of course there was the frankly embarrassing Fabregas chase that ended in nothing and was always destined to end in failure, Thiago went to Bayern, Fellaini and Baines are still at Everton and Strootman, another mooted target joined Roma. Are United just waiting on Bale to sign on the dotted line over in the Spanish capital? Doubtful but we will see.
Arsenal’s transfer dealings have been just as fruitless as United’s. Many names linked have gone elsewhere much to the annoyance of the Gooner faithful. Higuain was a perfect fit for the North Londoners but for some reason Wenger decided to opt for the more expensive and less likely pursuit of Luis Suarez which again went nowhere as Liverpool quite rightly dug their heels in and said no deal. David Villa was another name linked but he went to Athletico Madrid for basically nothing in today’s market. £4.3m for a deadly striker? Wow. Time will tell if he still has that eye for goal that persuaded Barcelona to splash £34m for his signature in 2010 but at the price Athletico paid it was worth a gamble. Why on earth did no other team take that chance and go for it?
In turn there have been stories all over the media this summer of players who want to leave their clubs. Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez have both performed dramatic U-turns at the last minute and will it seems be staying as they were. Weeks and weeks of speculation surrounded both players futures with Rooney seemingly destined to join Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and Suarez heading for the bright London lights of the Emirates and Arsenal.
Rooney to his credit didn’t once publically state he wanted to leave but Suarez was reported to have been “angry” with Liverpool for turning down Arsenal’s £40,000,001 bid in July. However the Uruguay international has since stated he had been mis-quoted and that he wants to stay. Who knows what really happened, but it now seems likely Luis Suarez will be wearing the red of Liverpool and not Arsenal this season. I have to say to both clubs, well done. Player power has become all too common place over the last ten years and it is about time a club said no.
Specifically if clubs as big as Manchester United and Liverpool start to allow themselves to be bullied into selling their star players what hope does that leave the rest of the league and indeed any of the top teams in Europe?
It seems to me that the papers and news outlets have just had to throw story after story at the wall and see which one eventually sticks, this is nothing new and it is a way of selling the papers but it has become boring and as a fan I am bitterly disappointed with how this year’s transfer window has gone. Each year the fans have been used to seeing someone new and exciting with an excellent reputation make a move that had the potential to change everything but sadly this year’s transfer window has been bereft of THAT name, THAT signing and unfortunately THAT excitement.
How do you think this summer’s transfer market has gone? Comments and feedback are always welcome
Also follow me on twitter @CravoTJRSports, come on you know it makes sense.
Until next time………