All Access Soccer


By: Tarik Walker

Contributor, Special assignment writer, former pro in USA

Brought to you by TRUSOX…


Week one of the European soccer is just about in the books and all that comes to mind is the transfer market that isn’t over yet. Before we dive into the who what where of the 2017/2018 transfer market. First, a brief description of transfer window. The time of the year called transfer window allows clubs and player staff to transfer a player’s registration from one association to another association. Each association/league is given the ability to create their own transfer window guidelines. Each association/league files their transfer and fair play guidelines with FIFA. Most of the transfer windows for each league are set around the same time of year. There are a few countries in which league fixtures are played at different times of the year, therefore windows are different in countries like Norway, Sweden, Finland and United States. Typically, there is a pre-season window and a midseason window. Initially windows were created to prevent agents from looking for the best deal for their players during the season or year. A pre-season window would typically start at the end of a season and end at the beginning of the next season. While the midseason window would run from January through February. So we take a look at the latest window, June through the end of August or September for a majority of the European leagues. What can get pretty confusing this time of year and create a drama filled August through September is the start of league play while a transfer window is still open. I hope to update you as best I can, but it could be a 100-page novel to get every juicy detail on paper.

In most cases, some sort of compensation is paid for the transfer of players rights. This compensation is called a transfer fee. Transfer fees represent the current market value of a player and the current dollar amount clubs are willing to pay for a player. We have seen the market value for a player rise tremendously over the past 20 years. In fact, if we just look at 10 years ago, Robben of Bayern Munich in 2007 was transferred from Chelsea to Real Madrid for forty million euros. In 2013 Bale went to Real Madrid from the Totts for 100 million euros. The rise in transfer money over the years have been shocking. The most recent transfer drama sees Neymar leave Barcelona at a price 5 times as much as the market for a player just 10 years ago. Is that not amazing and perplexing at the same time. Does five times as much truly represent the stature of this global game in financial markets. Neymar’s 222 million euros doubles the mark set five years ago by Bale. And is five times the mark set 10 years ago by Real Madrid. This value model set by PSG is surprising though. Historically, PSG have signed players in the middle to high range of the pricing market. Never the highest and certainly never doubling the market. We normally see the rich stay rich and the middle road stay the middle road regarding pricing players. PSG have put their brand in the circle of pricing giants like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United. These are the giants we normally see pricing players at record book signings. Manchester City, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are also considered in the conversation of clubs willing to tip the scales of value on a player. I am not saying Neymar isn’t worth it. Just take note of where this transfer fee values are trending towards in the next five-year and ten-year marks.

Neymar’s exit from Barcelona is the spoon stirring the transfer drink for the rest of the market. Barcelona is casting their net to snag a replacement attacking winger. Liverpool are caught up feeling the pressure of the Neymar deal as Barcelona are now making a heavy cash push to hook Coutinho. Klopp insists that Coutinho will stay, knowing how devastating a sale would be to his Liverpool squad at this late stage of the transfer window. Sanchez and Arsenal are potentially also caught up in the Barcelona drag net. Sanchez has repeatedly been quoted saying he wants Champions League football leading up to next year’s World Cup. Coincidentally, neither Sanchez or Coutinho played for their current clubs this weekend adding to the drama and tabloid headlines.

Manchester United hit the bank hard for a second summer in a row. Pogba stretched the coffers for 105 million euros during the 2016/2017 window. While Lukaku put 85 million euros on his ManU ATM card this summer. I love my ManU but I hate that signings such as these could change the culture of the club. With Pogba, ManU went out and spent the cash needed to bring back one of their own. Considering he was a youngster in the youth system at ManU, his signing didn’t feel strange from the club bringing its youth development players into the first team like Rashford and Lingard were brought up a couple years before. Of course, you aren’t going to survive in the premiership with youth development alone. Clubs have to surround their home-grown talent with quality. I get that. I hope to not see ManU fall into what is happening on the blue side of the city. The blue side of Manchester is spending at a noticeable clip. City have posted 121 million euros in purchases this summer. Spending 45 million euros on Walker from Tottenham filled that drama tabloids. Walker’s mix up with Totts boss leading to an ugly exit.

Tottenham has the most peculiar summer of all the England clubs. The spent 0 million euros on nobody new coming to the club this summer. Dive deeper into what the club has at steak this season to answer why. The club is in the middle of building a new world class stadium. The old White Heart Lane was imploded at the end of last season and a new structure is being built on the same ground. The club will play it’s home matches at National Wembley Stadium during the 2017/2018 season while final stages of the new structure are completed. Might that explain the lack of funds allocated to player staff this summer. It doesn’t quite send a message of confidence to the current squad looking to improve themselves in order jump up a notch to first place of the table. Seems like they have committed to a holding status quo pattern for the season.

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