Are the transfer deadline days (because there are two of them every season) the most gripping moments in football’s calendar or the most overhyped?
Last January the transfer window, if we’re honest, was a colossal bore. The BBC commissioned a special programme to capture the ‘drama’ approaching 12 midnight, while clubs responded by negotiating deals like Everton’s successful attempt to secure the signature of John Stones.
The latest deadline shows more promise. There isn’t much surprise as regards the most valuable transfer of the year. It’s long been apparent that Gareth Bale will play for Real Madrid this season, particularly as Tottenham had already revamped their squad with the expected proceeds.
Still, Arsenal fans will be excited that Arsene Wenger has finally dipped into the club’s reserves to buy a quality player like Mesut Ozil. The London club may not stop there, with the Daily Telegraph predicting something of a spree.
Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, had also attracted criticism for not making new signings before the new season. The club had refused to outbid its opponents for the Armenian midfielder, Henrikh Mkhitaryan or the Brazilian winger, Willian. Those players ended up at Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea.
Today, two new central defenders, the French international, Sakho, and the young Portuguese, Tiago Ilori, have arrived at Anfield. The Nigerian forward, Victor Moses, has also joined, on a season long loan from Chelsea.
Whether these players can improve, substantially, on the personnel already at Liverpool, remains open to question. However, coming quickly after a 1-0 victory against the Champions of England, Manchester
United, they add to a sense of optimism that was not evident previously.
Earlier, the Guardian suggested, on its deadline day timeline, that Brendan Rodgers had tabled a £30 million bid for Juan Mata. If that transfer came to fruition, then Liverpool fans genuinely would be excited.
Meanwhile, we’ll have to see whether the next few hours bring further excitement or anti-climax.