The Premier League transfer window will be a bit shorter from now on. On Thursday, the members of the league voted to close the window early. Starting next season, Premier League clubs will only be able to sign players up until 5 PM on the Thursday before the start of the season. According to reports, Manchester United were one of five clubs that voted against the change. Manchester City were reportedly among the detractors as well. This, despite both José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola expressing opinions to the contrary.
“As a football manager and not a market man - somebody who wants to work with the team and the players - I would prefer the window to close as soon as possible,” stated Mourinho last month.
“Of course I will meet with Mr Ed Woodward (United’s executive vice chairman) because I know that he will want to share my opinion, so I think very soon we are going to have a decision.”
Meanwhile Pep Guardiola offered up these comments on the transfer window changes: “Unfortunately the market finishes on August 31. I think that's a huge mistake from UEFA. I think the market should finish when we start the season.”
This move makes a certain degree of sense. Situations like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain turning out (abysmally) for Arsenal in a humiliating loss to Liverpool, only to sign for Liverpool days later, are farcical, and should be avoided. This also avoids the silly “mystery injury” spectacles when players are still angling for transfers after the season has started.
On the other hand, unless the other major European leagues fall into step, this new deadline creates serious vulnerability for Premier League clubs. Players can be still be sold to clubs outside of the league after the new deadline has passed, so there’s nothing to stop clubs on the continent from picking off players after the season has started, without the selling clubs having the ability to replace them.
Do you agree with the decision to close the Premier League transfer window early?
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