Manchester United has all but finalized the deal bringing the EPL’s leading scorer of last season, Robin van Persie, to Old Trafford. Tottenham Hotspur coach Andre Villas-Boas is confident that Real Madrid will secure a deal for his team’s biggest star, Croatian midfielder Luka Modric. Sunderland has reportedly secured a deal for Tottenham’s striker Louis Saha for one year.
All of these transfers in the final two weeks of the window, and just before league play begins this weekend have us wondering if the transfer window is healthy for professional soccer. Most clubs vying for big-time acquisitions don’t have an endless supply of cash reserves like Paris St. Germain, who drafted an all-star lineup for the coming season, spending more than 100 million euro in just a few months.
Most clubs either have one or two big names moving on to a bigger club, or have the need for one or two key players to round out their roster. The fact that the window exists for only a few weeks (July – August) for the top European leagues creates a sense of urgency and uncertainty for clubs that are working with a limited budget.
Not to mention the frenzy and wave of interdependent transfers that takes place in the final days leading up to the transfer deadline. When the dust finally settles and the season gets underway, players face a lot of pressure to live up to the hype their transfer was expected to deliver, case and point Fernando Torres at Chelsea. If the acquisition of star players is decided primarily by club owners, it’s usually the coaches that face the chopping block for poor management of otherwise highly capable players. This only further divides the roster and the fans.
When the dust finally settles and the season gets underway, players face a lot of pressure to live up to the hype their transfer was expected to deliver, case and point Fernando Torres at Chelsea.
The prior system where transfers and loans could be made at any time during the season before the homestretch allowed clubs to work with their roster and evaluate their needs throughout the season, with any crucial decisions based on many weeks of performance. On top of this, head coaches would work together with owners and maintain morale among the players but also with fans.
Of course, this all adds up to less mid-season coach nixing, less player stress, and less drama in soccer journalism all together. Whether fans agree this improves the sport is surely up for debate. Undoubtedly the drama, saga and story are not overlooked in May when the final whistle blows.