Beating the deadlines
Is there going to be further business during this transfer window by Philip Morrissey
No matter what deadline it is that you are trying to chase, it is always the same. Stuck in traffic and trying to make it in to work, submitting assignments for college or trying to dash down to the local before last call is issued. The sense of incoherence, panic and frustration to get there before the clock ticks over. It suits certain personalities, whilst brings others out in cold sweats.
Transfer deadline day in the UK brings out similar feelings with football clubs. You seemed to have had loads of time to get a deal completed but yet you are still waiting around for that phone-call to confirm or deny it once and for all. Some clubs begin the period with no intention of partaking in it, but due to a spate of injuries and players wanting to leave, have to dash around to bring in replacements. And you never know what is going to be left on the particular day. Bargains can definitely be found but more than likely you are going to be stuck bidding for the reserve left-back from Stoke. Or even Peter Odemwinge.
Reds fans have had some nail-biting experiences when it came down to last minute deals that did and did not take place. Beating City to the signing of Dimitar Berbatov in 2008 when they got stuck with a less than enthused Robiniho. The bungled dealings in 2013 that saw Fellaini arrive at a higher price than what he should have been but nobody else. The deals which saw Falcao arrive the following year which seemed too good to be true. And sadly was proven correct. And finally, the misfiring fax machine that caused the collapse of De Gea’s move to Madrid. Definitely one that went in our favour.
No such excitement this time around however. Jose Mouriniho played the market well and got the business done early. From the first press conference, he set out his desired aims. Four specialist players to suit designated positions. A defender, a forward, a creative attacker and a box-to-box midfielder. With the exception of Paul Pogba, they were delivered on early in the summer. And once the reds decided on the Frenchman, they were willing to stall until he came back from his holidays. Of all the players anticipated to leave, it has been mainly reserves and fringe players. Of all the ten which left, only four departed for a fee.
So what does that mean for those left behind? Marcus Rojo and Phil Jones were hotly rumoured to leave to Valencia and Stoke respectively. The signing of Mangala by the Mestalla outfit quelled their interest in the former, while the signing of Martins Indi satisfied the need for the Staffordshire club. Could the retention of these players be something to do with Eric Bailly’s involvement in the African Cup of Nations? Tottenham’s swoop of Morgan Schneiderlin was put on hold at least until January. The crosses and garlic outside the ground to keep Daniel Levy away might have something to do with it too. Nothing transpired out of Inter Milan’s pursuit of Matteo Darmian either.
The shortage in defensive numbers might inspire a cheeky call back to Southampton to check on the availability of Jose Fonte as experienced cover. Mouriniho’s connections with Raphael Varane was mentioned as being a personal leverage in getting the Real defender to the club. Marquinhos, and not sideshow Bob, had been the PSG Brazilian most expected to depart. I shudder to think of him in a red shirt. Personally, I can’t see any incomings unless it is replicated by the departure of one of the back-up players.
All in all, it feels good to have been able to sit back and watch all the others run around in a panic. Wait, that was due for when?