Once again we find ourselves facing a frantic month of speculation and unrealistic transfer targets being linked to our clubs. It is a month that only really revolves around the final day so why do we have a whole month, or even a window at all?
The existence of the January transfer window has in recent times been up for debate. Recently there has been a call for it to be scraped. The window is always made to be more than it is. The idea is for teams to reinforce if they are suffering with injuries to see them through to the summer. The media, however love to speculate and over hype the window. Teams have responded accordingly with hefty price tags, which more often than not don’t represent true value. Teams use the media to drive prices up and make the window a massive headache for clubs and their chairmen.
The dilemma for many teams, most notably Arsenal in the present window, is do you buy now? The Gunners are in desperate need of attacking options due to the injured Theo Walcott and the over reliance on Olivier Giroud. If they wish to challenge Manchester City for the title this season they must almost certainly spend. In some ways it makes sense for Wenger to buy a striker now if he plans on buying one in the summer anyway. The problem is price, and much can be learnt from how Arsenal carry out their business. It often takes a strong manager not to spend especially when the media start winding up the fans about the lack of activity at your club.
If you look at Real Madrid they rarely spend that much in January, in fact many top teams don’t tend to over spend in this month. Real Madrid usually spend big in the summer but then use that to see them through to the following summer, which is economically the best thing to do but often smaller clubs who don’t have strength in depth may need this opportunity.
This time of year usually sees an increase in manager sackings. If you think about it, if teams are on poor form, such as West Ham are currently, the chairman has a huge choice to make. Does he invest in an underperforming manager or sack him and allow someone new to take over and spend the money? The problem with big Sam and West Ham is he purchased poorly in the summer and has shot himself in the foot with the signing of Andy Carroll.
The January transfer window is likely to be around for some time. It would be a pretty big shuffle up to remove it from the season. The 2022 Qatar world cup could well be the turning point for this, due to its winter schedule. The massive implication of a World Cup during the busiest time of the Premier League calendar could force the end of the January transfer window or at very least see it moved to another month.