The Premier League last week confirmed that plans for the summer transfer window to close prior to the commencement of the new season will now become a reality. This is the result of a vote at the beginning of September. But was it the right decision to make?
From the 2018-19 season, clubs will no longer be able to sign players after the season has begun, with all incoming business needed to be completed the Thursday before the start of the new season.
Fourteen of the twenty top-flight clubs voted in favour of the early transfer window closure, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Crystal Palace, Watford and Swansea City voting against the proposed plans.
This could potentially pose a problem for Premier League clubs for more reasons than one, as should another club swoop in for one of their players across the continent or elsewhere, they will be allowed to sell or loan out players after the deadline. However, they will of course not be allowed to sign a replacement.
Additionally, upon the start of the season should a player become injured, this could potentially pose the risk of leaving a club short in a certain position, particularly if that player has sustained a serious injury and faces a long period of recovery.
Leagues across Europe are yet to follow suit, with their respective transfer deadline days remaining on the 31st August. This could leave several players in the vulnerable position of being snapped up should their release clause be met for instance, and their clubs will be unable to replace them until the following January at the earliest.
However, if they had anything about them, then they would do everything in their power to hold onto their players if any chance of signing a replacement was not possible. This echoed the opinion of Manchester United boss Mourinho, who stated the following, despite his club voting against the early transfer window closure:
However, for players who are on the fringe or have perhaps fallen out of favour with their managers, their respective club shouldn’t necessarily have to worry about signing a replacement on the basis of their squad numbers being sufficient enough.
The benefits of having an early transfer window will mean that clubs will have to work fast to obtain their targets and get their business done early. This will allow clubs to give any new signings time to adjust to their new surroundings and adapt to the system of their new manager.
Given that the plans for an earlier transfer window are now in place, it would perhaps be a good idea for fellow leagues across the world to take a leaf of the Premier League’s book. In turn, this would allow clubs a fair chance to bolster their squad, and reduce the risk of losing star players with no chance to sign a replacement.
However, with the transfer window opening sooner from next summer, this would still give clubs more than adequate time to bolster their squads, reduce the risk of unsettling players, and give managers the opportunity to slot new recruits into their system.