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Why do football clubs not prefer making transfers in January

In football, a transfer window is a period where clubs buy and sell players. The major one happens in the summer, following the club season in most European countries, and typically lasts for around two and a half months. However, there’s also a winter window that starts at the beginning of January and lasts for one month.

Although January has seen some of the most expensive Premier League transfers, there are a few reasons football clubs avoid transferring any players at this time of the year. For starters, mid-season player trades are becoming increasingly difficult for clubs to negotiate.

Furthermore, clubs in the playoffs would rather not sell their star players during the summer. This article will examine why football clubs avoid making transfers in January.

Player integration seems to be a huge challenge

The main disadvantage of the winter transfer is the difficulty in integrating new players. A new player, especially in one of the big clubs, is expected to start delivering almost immediately. In other words, players are under extreme pressure to perform consistently.

Such pressure after the January transfer window is due to several reasons. One of these is the high expectations of the fans to see the unique nature of their performance for which they were initially bought. Another factor that puts pressure on the player is the hefty transfer fee the club paid to acquire them.

However, players don’t settle into the club as seamlessly as expected. At this time of the year, the club is halfway through the season. The squad has developed its dynamic, both on and off the field. Plus, the established players on that team have already created the bond needed to work as a team.

So, new players struggle socially and professionally to integrate into the existing group, and they must start all over again to prove themselves to other players. As a result, some don’t perform as expected and will need another five or six months to integrate into the team.

Clubs do not prefer to spend much on January

One of the most important things any business or person will keep in mind is their budget. For instance, a bettor would find in any NonGamstopBetSites guide that they must manage their bankroll. Similarly, clubs always consider how much they have to spend to acquire a new player, even if that player is top-notch.

Usually, most clubs won’t release a player in the middle of the season. However, a team could have a top player on a hot streak, which would drive other clubs interested in the player’s talent to offer a lot of money for that player.

Such purchases are not only for the big clubs but also those who haven’t been doing well in matches. Even if they don’t intend to change coaches, as in the case of the four-man shortlist for Moyes’ replacement, getting a player could improve the season.

If the club to sell competes in the championship, they will naturally want to hold on to their finest players. However, they also weigh the amount they could make from that player in addition to other considerations. As a result, these clubs demand exorbitant sums of money for the players, which may be far less in the forthcoming summer transfer window.

The team that wants to buy the player then ends up spending much more than they would have if they had waited six months. That’s why some clubs prefer to hold off on making such huge expenses during the January transfer window and instead, they prefer to wait until summer when they can better invest their cash.

Managers want their players entirely concentrated on the target

There have been many bad Premier League January transfers, and one of the mistakes some clubs make is signing players who aren’t necessary. A good example is Manchester City signing Dong Fangzhuo for £500,000 in 2004.

At the time, Fangzhuo needed to gain experience playing in China, and his potential was much lower than that of Park Chu-Young or Yusef Ahmed, who was also nominated for 2004’s Asian Young Footballer of the Year. In other words, the club had no reason to make the move.

Coaches prefer to work with a smaller squad that they had started training at the onset. These players understand their goals, and they have established a coach-player pattern. If the coach has successfully taught his players to be champions, bringing a new player is unnecessary. Likewise, there’ll be no need to sell any of their players.

Some of the worst January transfers

We already noted the case of Dong Fangzhuo, but there are many other instances where players didn’t meet the coach’s expectations. The following are a few other examples:

  • In 2011, Chelsea paid £50 million for Torres, whose best performance during a difficult season came against Chelsea. However, his performance in Chelsea was not even as impressive as Suarez’s. In 35 minutes against Norwich City, Suarez scored more goals in the Premier League than Torres has all season.
  • Liverpool paid £35 million to Newcastle for Andy Carroll in 2011, but the transfer was proved to be a scam. The English forward had several injury issues, and Liverpool’s board may still wonder why they paid that amount of cash absolutely for nothing.
  • Alan Hutton cost Spurs $9 million, yet he never played in 20 Premier League games in a single season. He was a liability for Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa because he lacked defensive awareness and was frequently caught playing out of position. This is why he was usually loaned out.
  • Jean-Alain Boumsong, a gifted but reckless defender, made Rangers an £8 million profit. However, after starting the first 10 league games for Newcastle United, he was a part of a defense that recorded two clean sheets and four straight losses.

Final Thoughts

To summarise, January transfers affect both the player being transferred and the clubs. Players are under pressure to perform at their best when they should still be trying to settle into their new club. Plus, clubs sell hot-shot players at a very high price during this period. When clubs factor in the downsides of the January transfer window, waiting for the summer months seems like the best deal. 

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