Posted by: Pete Robertson | July 16, 2011

It’s an Epidemic – Transfer Madness has Set In.

There is an illness spreading up and down the country as we speak. Everywhere, football clubs are in a mad frenzy. And all in a bid to make sure they get the right players in their squad for the season ahead.

Only this season there seems to be something a bit different. It appears that money is no object, and that securing that big name player is the aim of every club in the league. This then is in stark contrast to recent transfer windows, where the majority of money spent has been by just one or two different teams, most notably Manchester City.

Some of Man City’s recent summer signings have included the likes of Yaya Toure (£28m), Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor (both £25m), Joleon Lescott and David Silva (both £24m) and of course Robinho, for a then British Tranfer record fee of £32.5m. And yet so far this tranfer window, there has been more talk of departures from the club, rather than imminent arrivals. Club captain Carlos Tevez has made it very clear that he has no desire to stay in Manchester, and the club have recieved a bids of £35m and £40m for the striker, and yet City’s aquisitions of Gael Clichy from Arsenal for £7m and defender Stefan Savic for £10m represent small change for City’s billionaire owners.

But it is not jsut City who have completed transfers already this summer. Sir Alex Ferguson has beenvery busy at Manchester United, securing the signatures of Blackburn defender Phil Jones, young goalkeeper David De Gea from Atletico Madrid and England star Ashley Young from Aston Villa, spending around £60m in doing so. And while the rumours surrounding a potential move for Inter Milan ace Wesley Sneijder appear to have died down, there is no doubt that the club will be looking to spend big in their hunt for a replacement for the retired Paul Scholes.

Liverpool have once again been busy in the transfer market. Following their £35m deal for Andy Carroll and a £27m move for Luis Suarez in January, they have once again splashed out, this time spending £20m on Sunderland’s creative midfielder Jordan Henderson, a further £20m on England and Aston Villa winger Stuart Downing, around £8m for Blackpool captain Charlie Adam, and have just signed Roma keeper Doni for an undisclosed fee. This takes their spending under manager Kenny Dalglish to over £100m since January, money that hasn’t been spent by clubs other than the likes of Man City before.

Left to right: New signings Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson, together costing Liverpool around £50 million.

However, critics may say that Liverpool have payed way over the odds for players of little to no Premier League experience, Henderson and Adam only having a years experience behind them, Carroll signed with only half that, and Suarez and Doni having never played in the Premier League at all.

While Man City certainly pay as much for their players, at least the majority of them are proven in the Premier League and have several years of playing at the top level behind them, just look at the likes of Gareth Barry, James Milner and Joleon Lescott.

And if the current tranfer targets are anything to go by, this formula of signing the tried and tested is one being followed very closely this summer. With the current cost of importing players from the continent, this is not just as clubs know how the players are likely to perform in the league, but they will also be able to get more value for money in terms of quality of player.

For example, Chelsea’s number one target is currently Tottenham star Luka Modric, and they have put in bids of up to £27m for his services. But were they after a player of Modric’s calibre who was currently based on the continent, it is likely that they would have to pay significantly more, as well as taking the risk of the player not settling into the league or playing at his best.

Luka Modric - On his way to Chelsea?

All clubs are constantly on the lookout for that undiscovered foreign talent, or a big name player who has burst onto the world stage playing for club or country. But instead, why not go for a cheaper option, a low-key talented, model professional or even giving a chance to a local player, developed through a solid youth system?

The answer lies with a club’s fans. If asked who they’d rather see playing for their team, a 17 year old youth team player, or an international superstar, there is only going to be one answer.

They say you have to be a little bit mad to support a football team. A transfer window might just prove it…

Comments welcome…

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