by Tony Attwood
While we have been trying to work out how Arsenal are going to get the squad numbers down to the requisite 25 players with no more than 17 non-HGs, most of the media has been continuing talking about who is going to be bought, without any regard for the regulations.
And this includes no regard to the fact that the window “slams” shut (it always slams, it never creaks) before the season starts.
Three clubs (Burnley, Everton and Tottenham H) have not signed any players whatsoever. Now with Tottenham this might be because of concerns about finances with the new stadium having to be paid for, and Everton did go bonkers last summer with 14 players coming in. Burnley bought eight last summer
Bournemouth, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Manchester City have each bought in one player.
So what happens now? Is there going to be a huge rush for players in the remaining days before the season starts and the window closes? Will there then be a huge rush of sales, with values pushed down because there are simply too many players in the market and no English clubs able to buy?
Certainly if Arsenal get stuck with their excess number of players who can’t be registered because of the 25 and 17 rules, then their value will shrink – everyone will know the last thing Arsenal wants is to have them on their books but not be able to play them. In such a case I suspect most players would be offered to clubs in Portugal at knock down prices – for there the window doesn’t close until mid-September.
In retrospect it now looks like a decent idea to close the buying window early but it is one that the clubs can’t quite cope with. More aggressive selling was needed from the start.
What we seem to have got is an astounding lack of business acumen by clubs who might be left with players they don’t want while the rest of Europe looks on in amusement offering to take the player for nothing just to reduce the wages bill.
To see the contrast in the regular transfer table based on data published by the Guardian I have now added under the club’s name last season’s in and out totals. The “out” does not include loans – only sales, released and free transfers. (Released don’t count as sales as it is a mutual cancellation of the contract).
|Arsenal||Lucas Torreira||£26.4m||Santi Cazorla||Released||Takuma Asano|
|’17 In: 2||Stephan Lichtsteiner||Nil||Jack Wilshere||Released||Kelechi Nwakali|
|’17 Out: 15||Bernd Leno||£19.2m||Hugo Keto||Released|
|Arsenal totals||£70.3m||0 sales||2 loans|
|Chelsea||Jorginho||£50.4||Harvey St Clair||Released||13 loaned player|
|’17 In: 8||Jordon Houghton||Released|
|’17 Out: 13||Jonathan Panzo||Undisclosed|
|Chelsea totals||£50.4||1 sale||13 loans|
|Liverpool||Naby Keïta||£52.8m||Emre Can||Free||Ovie Ejaria|
|’17 In: 5||Fabinho||£40m||Yan Dhanda||Unknown||Adam Bogdan|
|’17 Out: 9||Xherdan Shaqiri||£13.5m||Jordan Williams||Released||Harry Wilson|
|Liverpool totals||£171.3m||1 sale||0 income||3 loans|
|Man City||Riyad Mahrez||£60m||Yaya Toure||Released||Anthony Cáceres|
|’17 In: 7||Pablo Maffeo||£8.1m||Ashley Smith-Brown|
|’17 Out: 20||Will Patching||Released||Pablo Marí|
|Olarenwaju Kayode||£2.6m||Manu Garcia|
|Javairo Dilrosun||Unknown||Paolo Hernandes|
|Jacob Davenport||Unknown||Edward Francis|
|Angus Gunn||£10m||Matt Smith|
|Rodney Kongolo||£0.75m||Anthony Cáceres|
|Man C totals||£60m||7 sales||£26.45||9 loans|
|Man United||Fred||£43.7m||Joe Riley||Unknown||Dean Henderson|
|’17 In: 4||Diogo Dalot||£19m||Sam Johnstone||£6.5m|
|’17 Out: 4||Lee Grant||£1.5m||Daley Blind||£14.2m|
|Man U totals||£64.2m||3 sales||£20.7m||1 loan|
|’17 In: 5||Anton Walkes||Unkonwn|
|’17 Out: 7||Tottenham totals||0||2 sales||£2m||No loans|
Only Arsenal has exceeded its buying of last year in terms of clubs in the top six from 2017/18. None of the clubs is anywhere near the number of sales of last season, revealing the fact that they will focus on sales once the buying window is over. That does look to me to be a very risky business – but then if no one is buying knowing that the PL has boxed itself into a corner, there is not much the clubs can do now.
It would appear that this summer there will be bargains galore from PL clubs for the rest of Europe to pick up.
- Liverpool £171.3m (income 0)
- Arsenal: £71.4 (income 0)
- Manchester United £64.2m (income £20.7m)
- Manchester City £60m (income £26.5m)
- Chelsea £50.4m (income 0)
- Tottenham £0m (income £2m)
There is also a question also about the remnants of Premier League FFP which is now based on salary increases. I wonder how Liverpool will manage that.
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