With the passage of time, there had been a spectacular increase in the popularity of club football among the different sections of world population, Demanding more quality from a club by its fans, whether they are local supporters or worldwide fans. In the past, many clubs have managed to produce that quality. Creating Stars was considered as the most defining factor in the popularity of a particular club. Clubs like Man. United, FC Barcelona are a prime example of producing the greatest footballing icons like Beckham, Giggs, Iniesta and Messi respectively. But this increase in popularity has also raised the standards so high in the football world, that it’s not possible for every club to meet them by having their own players playing in the field.
That’s where the MONEY factor makes it appearance. From 2004 to this day, a havoc has been wrecked on the transfer market. Russian and Arab overtaking on the Clubs like Chelsea, PSG and Man. City have enabled them to spend fortunes for getting their desired players. The transfer window of 2017 is also a glimpse of the chaos that has been present in the market for almost a decade now, but this window was also a display of poor transfer policies of many clubs like FC Barcelona and Arsenal, exposing the bad planning and management or internal crisis. Following is a brief look on the transfer activity of few of the most prestigious clubs in Europe.
- Paris Saint Germain: In this window, the biggest spenders were the Unai Emery’s French side PSG, with landing Neymar for a world record fee of 222m and signing AS Monaco’s young sensation Kylian Mbappe on loan for 180m with an option to buy, making them the biggest contenders for UCL and Ligue 1 this season. Although they are being criticized by all sections whether they are normal fans or journalists, for disturbing the balance in strength of teams. Moreover they are under investigation by UEFA for breaking the FFP rules with a risk of getting fined or being under a transfer ban. But having the likes of Neymar and Mbappe in your squad will surely be worth it.
- Manchester United: After the Arrival of the Jose Mourinho in 2016, The club has become a center of biggest and Key transfer every year. The Arrival of Paul Pogba from Juventus for 100m, the former world record transfer, was certainly a strong addition in the squad. And this year, the signing of Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic for a combined fee of 140m made them the top contender for winning EPL title this season.
- Real Madrid: The European and Spanish top Flight were not the kings of this window like they used to be in the past, due to a change in transfer and Galactico Policy. They didn’t spend that much, But they had a splendid transfer window according to their needs. Departure of Pepe, Fabio Coentrao, Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez certainly made a difference in the squad depth, but the arrival of young sensations like Dani Ceballos, Theo Hernandez, Jesus Vallejo and Marcos Llorente filled those gaps for Zidane’s Madrid. Arrival of Brazilian wonderkid Vinicius Jr. In 2018 will also add up to the strength of the squad. Moreover signing their Academy players Including Achraf Hakimi, Oscar Rodriguez and Alvaro Tejero in the first team also added up to the depth of Zidane’s Madrid.
- FC Barcelona: One of the biggest club of Europe, were a display of huge disarray this window due to internal crisis and poor transfer policies. Departure of Neymar, out of form midfield and their average backups was one thing, but what added insult to injury was that nothing was done about it. Not being able to sign Veratti, Coutinho, Di Maria made everyone question about the club’s management. Only signings made were Paulinho, Semedo and a club record transfer of Dembele, but that didn’t solve the midfield problem they are facing at this moment due to a drop in the form of Iniesta, Rakitic and Busquets.
- Manchester City: Considered as the biggest spenders in market before PSG after being taken over by the Arab Billionaire Sheikh Mansour, City also reinforced their Squad in midfield and defence. Arrival of Big names like Benjamin Mendy, Walker, Bernardo Silva, Ederson and Danilo from the clubs like Real Madrid, As Monaco, Tottenham Hotspurs for a combined fee of 200m, Pep Gaurdiola’s side are now considered as the challengers for both EPL and CL this season having the most expensive defense at their disposal
- AC Milan: The Rossoneris, straying away from their former glory and Italian and European legacy for a long period are now back in the game after the new Chinese Management took over, Becoming the most active catalysts in the window. Signing Italian pride Leonardo Bonnuci for a bargain of 37 million, Arrival of Hakan Calhanoglu, Andre Silva, Ricardo Rodriguez, Andrea Conti, Lucas Biglia strengthened the Devils of Milan, which certainly makes the club a winner of this Window. In the eyes of a True Milanista and Rossoneri, The coming years won’t be football, but would be a war of pride for AC Milan.
- Liverpool: The Giants of Merseyside and the eternal rivals of Manchester United, had an average window but signed some quality players. Signing Egypt’s pace Muhammad Salah from Roma and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain from Arsenal were great additions, but still they didn’t seem to solve their defensive flaws. Moreover club couldn’t sign all of their targets like Naby Keita and Virgil Van Dijk, even facing a controversy over the Southampton’s player.
- Arsenal: The Arsense Wenger’s North London side are considered the losers of the window, having one of the worst transfer window, including more departures than arrivals. The Departure of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Gabriel Paulista, Szczesny, Gibbs and Lucas Perez were a blow to the French manager’s side, with the only key arrival being the Alexander Lacazette. Being linked to Mbappe and Thomas Lemar, The transfers which were rejected or never happened, exposing the flawed transfer policy and Bad management of the English Club.
Written by: Saad Hassan