After signing Gabriel Jesus, can Manchester City win the 2017 Premier League?
There comes a time, twice every year, when football fanatics ignore the on-field war games and are glued to the off-the-pitch reports of the ins and outs of their beloved clubs – yes, the most anticipated time of the year for us diehard fans, the transfer window time.
I myself am very guiltily proud of spending (read: wasting) hours every day during these months, scanning through news and gossip columns on the transfer updates, scouring through all the stats and info of the rumored players who may be heading towards my team. Oh, the sheer thrill and excitement when the deadline looms while the clubs haggle on the price tag of a player. Conversely, the very same window also has potential to completely crush, when a club’s prized possession leaves it for another one.
I must confess here that gone are the days when the January transfer window used to be as humming as the summer window time. Now, no major club dares to part ways with their well-settled players on a somewhat justified pretext that their replacement won’t settle in or much worse, the winning streak towards a certain glory at the end of the season may end due to the departure of a match winning player.
The transfer window for winter is now officially ‘firmly slammed shut’ after Tuesday night’s deadline. I wouldn’t be lying when I say that this time round the madness was rather inconsequential and barring only Manchester City with Gabriel Jesus – a pre-decided transfer – as none of the other top six teams in the Premier League scrambled for any signing to improve their squads’ strength.
This year round, the Premier League clubs have spent a total of almost £215 million during the January window transfer period, with relegation zone Crystal Palace spending the most out of all 20 clubs, while fellow relegation-ers, Hull were the busiest in terms of swapping players.
Chelsea made the most expensive sale, scooping up a whopping £60 million from Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) for Oscar, an offer too good for both the player and the club itself. It also offloaded some of its yesteryears stars – John Obi Mikel also moved to Far Eastern giants SIPG while Branislav Ivanovic was sold to Zenit Saint Petersburg. However, the saga didn’t end here, as the club’s current star Diego Costa wasn’t allowed to move to China initially, despite his open interest in the move, but has now reached a £30 million-a-year pre-agreement to move to China in the summer.
Chelsea’s North London rivals, Arsenal, were more concerned about crossing off their players from the injury list, which is neither strengthening nor weakening the squad.
Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham was very clear about his intentions, or rather the lack of it, and plans to continue with his current stream of players. Although I personally think an additional striker would have eased some of Harry Kane’s burden and added some more goals to the team.
Staying in London, Sam Allardyce signed in Jeffrey Schlupp, Patrick van Aanholt, Luka Milivojevic and Mamadou Sakho to improve the standings of his currently 18th place team. With over £40 million spent on these four new additions, I, for their sake, sincerely hope to see the guys at Selhurst Park standing a few places above the dreaded drop zone at the end of the season.
Moving over to Manchester, United were second to Chelsea in terms of raking in bucks with Jose Mourinho trimming his squad with the exits of Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay and Sean Goss for a hefty £40 million.
Manchester City, on the other hand, grabbed a gem of the bargain in the shape of Gabriel Jesus who has already stomped his arrival with a goal and an assist in their recent thrashing of Hull City.
Crossing over to Merseyside, Goodison Park outspent all other fellow teams except the leading spenders Crystal Palace. With an increased financial backing, Ronald Koeman is contended to make gradual improvement in the team, and has bought in Morgan Schneiderlin, Ademola Lookman and Anton Donkor.
And crossing the Mersey divide, we finally get to my beloved. Liverpool’s three consecutive defeats saw them slipping from the second spot to the fourth in the league – also crashing out from both the EFL Cup and FA Cup – and Jurgen Klopp is still willing to wait another six months to strengthen our young team. The loveably crazy German has every right to do as he pleases, and I for one whole heartedly believe in my manager’s mad methods.
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