January transfer window become more appealing than summer transfers with UEFA new rule
UEFA new rules regarding UEFA Champions League and Europa League registration of players makes January transfer window more appealing than summer transfers from 2018/19 season. UEFA new rules say, “A club may register three new eligible players without any restrictions. This is in line with the existing regulatory situation in the different domestic leagues, which doesn’t impose restrictions on the eligibility for competitions of players registered for a new club during the winter transfer window.”
Earlier, Janaury transfer window was paralyzed with restrictions imposed on the clubs. A club was allowed to register three new players for knockout stages but it wouldn’t have included the name of their new signings who have already represented a different club in the competition.
It wasn’t making sense for the clubs to sign new players who couldn’t make an immediate impact for them. You sign a player to strengthen your team and not to get paralyzed to not field him in your important games.
European fixtures have always been top priority for the clubs participating in those tournaments and once you get to the knockout stages you want your best players to play in those games. Imagine you hire a player for €100 million and you can’t field him despite knowing he could have been an impact player in that match. Even the player himself watching from the stands must be thinking if I’d have played we could have won this game.
For Example – Barcelona spent €142 million to acquire the service of former Liverpool man Philippe Coutinho last January. After initial injury, he started well for Catalan giants in the league but they couldn’t play him in Champions League because he had already represented Liverpool at group stage. Barcelona lost their quarter-final tie against AS Roma 4-4 aggregate on away goals and Coutinho only watched his team fail at Stadio Olimpico losing 3-0. He wishes he could have played and helped his team out there.
It’s not going to be a situation for the club and the new arriving player in January from 2018/19 season. Now, clubs will be more willing to spend more in the January transfer window knowing they can make an immediate impact.
January transfer window opens only for 30 days. It will make it more appealing as well knowing clubs have to make quick decisions. Top clubs are going to be major participant in this window who will survive the group stage of UEFA Champions League and Europa league.
They’ll get in-form players to deal with. Injury-free, playing regular football and always fit for a match day. It’s always advantageous to hire a regular playing footballer than a player who have come overweight after his summer holidays.
Summer 2018/19 transfer window also suggests that we are going to see big spending in winter transfer window this season. Premier League clubs spent only €1.42 billion compared to €1.62 billion spent last summer. Summer 2018/19 transfer spending of Bundesliga also noticed a downfall. Bundesliga clubs spent €490.20 million compared to €646.14 million spent in last summer transfer window. Ligue also registered a downfall. They spent only €593.44 million compared to 683.43 billion spent last summer.
Only Serie A and La Liga clubs spend comparatively more than their previous summer transfer window. Serie A spent 1.14 billion compared to 907.56 billion spent in the summer of 2017/18 season, whereas La Liga clubs spent 892.87 million compared to their previous season €576.99 million.
It’s good sign for January transfer window. Now, clubs have got to know how to deal with this overvalued transfer market. They don’t want to engage in transfer of an overpriced player during off-season. It’s better to hire an in-form player half way through the season.
It will offset the price of hyped players and a good player who has started the season well will be up for grab in the market. The players who fancy to play in the later stages of the Champions League and Europa League despite their teams elimination at the group stage will be offered a better opportunity.
It’s not only about the top club transfers who will be alive in the later stages of the European competition; it’s also about domestic standing. It will open a different point of view. After December, you’re almost half way through the season. You know where you stands, you have a realistic goal for the end of the season.
Clubs know well at the end of the December that they’re going to be champion, finish in top four, will end at the top half of the table or at the bottom half of table, or they’ll be relegated. It’s perfect opportunity for them to strengthen themselves at mid-way and achieve a realistic goal.
There will be clubs who will oppose it saying it will weaken their side if a good player leaves and they don’t have perfect replacement ready for him. But, it’s only an excuse. Transfer market will be opened for all the clubs with the same deadline day.
Yes with increasing popularity and usefulness of the window, the time period may not be sufficient. But, you never know, the summer may turn into winter transfer and vice-versa. What we can see right now is that January transfer window is going to be more appealing than summer transfer window from 2018/19 onwards.
We didn’t see a very big movement in attacking department this season except few loan deals. Summer 2018/19 transfer window most valuable players were goalkeepers. Alisson Becker made a big money move to Liverpool from AS Roma, Real Madrid gone for Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, and Chelsea made Atletico Madrid’s Kepa Arrizabalaga most expensive goalkeeper of the world.
It feels like clubs will be waiting for January 2018/19 transfer window eagerly to make big signings which they miss during summer transfer window. Players like Paul Pogba, Paulo Dybala, Eden Hazard, Ousmane Dembele, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe may be up for grab during winter transfer.
Transfer Figures: Transfermarkt.com