Written by BelgianSpur
January shopping: any bargains?
We have the reputation of being prudent (at best) in the transfer market. Especially when it’s the January window. Our manager is on record to say that he doesn’t think it’s easy to improve on the options that we already have. Our new stadium is costing a lot more than we originally thought, meaning our transfer budget is likely affected.
All in all, this seems like a perfect time to discuss the upcoming transfer window!
While the attention of fans has been on the many positive results recently (and rightly so), we could be forgiven for forgetting that the January transfer window is about to open.
Given how everyone is performing at the moment, some fans might argue that we don’t really need to strengthen, and I can see where they are coming from. However, in certain positions, we are only one injury away from the Vincent Janssens and Fernando Llorentes of this world, while other areas could proactively be addressed. After all, Mousa Dembélé’s contract runs out in a few months and who knows if he’ll get an extension given his age and injury history, while Toby’s contract situation is well documented (eligible for an extension for next year, but this would trigger a very “buyer friendly” 25 million release clause).
Rather than list players that we could/should target and endlessly discuss the relevance/feasibility of any potential deal (likely a complicated discussion), I had a look at the players who could be signed on a free transfer in 6 months. The advantage with a free transfer is that players are eligible to sign a pre-agreement with a new club in January, with the move becoming official at the end of the season. This simplifies discussions tremendously, as it’s just finding an agreement with the player.
Of course, some players use that as a negotiating chip for higher wages (see Alexis Sanchez and James Milner), while other players on that list will sign an extension in the coming 6 months with their current club. But still, it’s fair to assume that not all of them will and there could be bargains to be had.
For some strange reason, there is an abundance of quality players on this list this year. Here is the top 10 in terms of value, as listed by Transfermarkt (excluding our own players):
· David De Gea
· Anthony Martial
· Adrien Rabiot
· Cesc Fabregas
· Aaron Ramsey
· Ander Herrera
· Yacine Brahimi
· Diego Godin
· David Luiz
· Juan Mata
The list (https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/) features more names such as Welbeck, Giroud, Declan Rice, Phil Jones, Daniel Sturridge, Alan Dzagoev, Hector Herrera, Arjen Robben, Max Kruse, Vincent Kompany, Gary Cahill, Mario Balotelli, or Andy Carroll.
Between the young stars looking for more playing time, good players in the twilight of their careers, and effective but injury-prone players, there is a lot to like – or to walk away from. Any takers?