Let it be known that I can’t stand the January transfer window. It’s distracting, it’s unsettling and the media frenzy speculating on players leaving mid-season is stressful for fans. No one needs a full month of Winston Reid being linked with Arsenal, James Tomkins being linked with Newcastle and Andy Carroll being linked with everyone. It’s annoying and tedious for fans, but the January transfer window is definitely good for football.
Without it we would either have a never ending rumour mill or no opportunity for teams to change their players during the season. Ten months is a long time in football. A lot can happen in that time. Players can suffer season-ending injuries, players can drastically under deliver and players can fall out of favour and spend that 10 months deteriorating on the bench. The January transfer window offers a helpful halfway point in the season to rectify the aforementioned issues and give teams a fighting chance to avoid fighting on with weakened squads until grinding out a final pitiful 0-0 draw come May.
Injuries are the biggest argument in favour of a January transfer window. Injuries have hit every team this year (bar Leicester, who obviously use witchcraft to safeguard their players) and West Ham have been dealt some of the worst cards. Bournemouth are another club who have been dealt a poor hand with injuries this season. By October three of their key players (Tyrone Mings, Callum Wilson and Max Gradel) had all been ruled out for the full season.
No one wants to pay the better part of 50 quid to watch two teams desperately try to club together 11 men and end up with two central defenders upfront. It’s not just injuries that make a January window valuable for the game of football. It’s also a valuable opportunity to make sure the right people are in the right places across the league. In our world, if your boss decides to stop inviting you to meetings – or even inviting you to sit on the bench outside of the meetings – you can quit and move on.
Players don’t have that fl exibility. Players’ careers are short. If a player falls out of favour at a club or doesn’t fit well into a new style of play, he could waste an entire year sitting on a bench. Furthermore, if a manager replaces someone sacked in the first half of the season he absolutely should be able to change the fates and fortunes of that team – because the point of it all is to see enjoyable games of football. Aft er all, the January transfer window allows teams to get stronger, to improve and to obtain better results—all of which contribute to the growth and entertainment level in the beautiful game.