The January transfer window is regularly criticised by managers across the country, particularly by those in the Premier League. It is seen as a hindrance to some, while others view it as the perfect opportunity to strengthen their squad. So is it simply a myth that it is seen as bad to buy in January?
For a team that is performing well, perhaps over achieving, there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to purchase any more players and disrupt or unbalance the equilibrium in the dressing room. Things are working perfectly and a new addition has the potential to throw everything out of the window and undo all the hard work done up to that point.
On the other hand, a side struggling in the league, or one that is some what underperforming, will no doubt see the window as the perfect opportunity to get rid of the squad’s dead wood and the ones who are disrupting the balance of the side and bring in new, more talenting players in order to steady the proverbial ship.
Even then, brining in new players can make things even worse for a struggling side, unsettling the current players even more and making them question the management’s belief that they can turn things around.
This season, it is widely expected that QPR will spend heavily in January. They spent millions in the summer but find themselves deep in the relegation mire going in to the second half of the season, making no improvement on their form last season. Harry Redknapp has a reputation of getting the best out of players and will have some household names in mind to bring in and replace the players at the club he feels are only there to fill their wallets.
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Many believe the damage has already been done at Loftus Road and no amount of spending, experience or talent can save the club from their impending relegation. But some do believe fresh faces could bring fresh fortunes to the club.
Conversely, high flyers West Brom will not be expected to spend a great deal, if any, on new arrivals. Their start to the season has been something of a surprise even to themselves, and to disrupt the balance of the squad now could come back and bite them, ending their good form and causing them to end the season far lower than current form forecasts.
And what about the teams suffering from multiple injuries, many of which are expected back during the transfer window? Do they hold out and wait for these players to return to fitness instead of spending money on short term replacements, or do they bite the bullet and hope the new players come in and provide a healthy competition for places?
Another problem the January transfer window might bring to a side in good form, for example, is the sale of one of their best players, leaving the team unbalanced and crying out for a worthy replacement that may or may not help their good performances continue without any hiccups.
So it’s a bit of an awkward time for managers. This January, both Brendan Rodgers and Alan Pardew have said they will spend money on players to strengthen their squads. Rodgers will be in the market for a striker, but only because he has just one experience striker in his squad after allowing Andy Carroll to leave on loan without replacing him first. Pardew will be looking to improve his Newcastle side after experiencing a blip in form, despite his side being almost unchanged from last season.
So there are positives behind the decision to buy in January and both managers will hoping that their purchases will improve their side’s fortunes as we enter the second half of the Premier League season because both have underperformed up to now.
There are two sides to every story and the January transfer window is no different. The fact it comes right in the middle of the season makes it more open to debate, but the fact some teams benefit from while others don’t means it is a debate to is relatively balanced.
What do you think? Is the suggestion it is bad to buy in January simply a myth, or do you believe it is useful to the sides who need reinforcements? Let us know what you think below.