At the commencement of the transfer window, it seemed all teams, from the pinnacle of European football to clubs contesting in the Football League, seemed to be presented with a prime opportunity to invest in an influx of players capable of elevating their league position. With the window now nearing its conclusion, it seems a vast array of teams have utilised this period productively, with some, including reigning English champions Chelsea, spending large quantities in order to cement, or improve upon, their position. Yet, other managers seem to have retained faith with the squad they attained prior to the window itself, and with the football season has begun, it seems they may have been provided with an opportunity to alter their philosophies if required.
The window seems to boast increased importance as the sport itself becomes increasingly recognised, and with the Premier League TV deal enabling larger monetary incentives, it seems the desire for proficient players may have intensified. In previous years, some transfers seem to have productively impacted the sport, with these players opting to ply their trade elsewhere in order to either advance their new team’s ability to contest for trophies or on a broader scale expand the status of the league itself. Amongst these may be Cristiano Ronaldo, whose record transfer to Real Madrid in 2009 may have placed him in challenging circumstances. Yet, it seemed to be a position he relished, and with his performances often acting as the catalyst in driving Madrid to Champions League glory, it seems to prove how integrating a player successfully may prove dividends. With Neymar’s transfer to PSG having recently surpassed this record, he may be seeking to replicate the format showcased by others before him.
Whilst Neymar’s transfer may naturally claim the majority of the plaudits, with his performances in France perhaps justifying his focus, it seems English clubs have also prioritised improving their squad. Short-term, this may propel them to glory, cementing the respective managers’ job security, yet integrating fresh faces may enable the entirety of the club to be driven in a new direction. This most notably seems to be reiterated by Chelsea who, after parting company with Jose Mourinho, invested in a smorgasbord of new faces in their bid to claim back their title and, after this accomplishment, they seem to have continued this formula with four major signings. These transfers may strengthen Chelsea’s team due to their experience at the pinnacle, yet may also provide an opportunity for younger players, who may aspire to have a similar impact at the club, or who may decide to have a fresh start in order to expand their credentials elsewhere.
As such, spending seems to have provided dividends, yet some clubs, such as Tottenham, seem to place their focus upon sustaining their foundations; whilst new players may be able to propel a club forwards, they may alternatively affect a team’s original chemistry, and as such Mauricio Pochettino seems to be continuing with his philosophy. With their finish last season enabling them to supersede their main rivals Arsenal for the first time in Premier League history, Pochettino may be justified in his decision, and with his early fixtures providing his side with four points, as opposed to Arsenal’s three, he may be proving how the window may be utilised in a different way, yet with equal success.
With the window due to close, it seems teams may still have a period which, if utilised productively, may advance their respective quests for silverware. Drawing on their experiences thus far in fixtures may also be key, as it may highlight to the managers which areas need to be strengthened in order to achieve both domestically and in Europe. This may be the most significant factor in justifying why the window may also need to include opening club fixtures, as it enables managers to test their new signings, and debate whether they may be successfully implemented into the starting eleven. With these players ultimately providing intriguing and competitive encounters for fans, the vast amount of money injected into the sport may be justified.
How might Premier League teams ensure they attain players with the required credentials to be integrated into their squad?