Five reasons this January’s transfer market must be crazy.

Arsene and Fergie have both stated they think this January will be a quiet period.  As our island cousins say -Bollicks!  Those two are just trying to keep the market from erupting to Madrid and Mancity premiums of the summer. In fact, this January might be the biggest of all time because of last summer’s foolishness.  Real Madrid and Mancity went nutty last summer spending hordes of cash and disrupting the entire market.  ManU, Arsenal and even the Italian teams were priced out of the market.  But now, with seasons in crisis, trophies to be had and the market somewhat returning to normal -changes are a must for five reasons.

So here are the five reasons this January should be something special.

1. Chelsea.  Chelsea is worried about the two year ban.  Looking to stock pile for two years, the club is essentially trying to compact two years of purchases into one month.  Luckily, they have set their targets on only the most expensive like Ribery and el Kun.  So while they will inflate prices, it’ll only be on the most elite players.  This is good for the Arsenal, but bad for ManU and the Italians.

2. Mancity.  Mancity made a big splash last summer.  They spent a lot of money and even raised some questions about whether the Arsenal were going to slip down the ladder.  History, however, has shown Arsene as the ultimate con man.  He sold two players that needed to move on from the Arsenal for way more than they were worth.  Mancity showed it’s still just a mid-tier team.  And nobody big wants to play there.  So while they’ll chase Arsenal scouts around the world, flash their cash and drive up the price of some medium priced players; they won’t hurt the market for the Arsenal or ManU for that matter.  They lost their momentum.  They thought it was all about the money, but it’s more than that.  And the Hughes firing has only made them look worse.

3. Real Madrid.  Having spent the GDP of a small nation last summer, the Death Star has to release some of their players.  I think even registration regulations may require it as well.  Anyway, more importantly, players are unhappy.  Yeah, sure, players keep saying they want to stay, of course they do!  But seriously, with a World Cup coming up, play time is even more important.  Not to mention, the club must sell to recoup some dough.  I’m not sure which players are on the way out, but the names Gago, M. Diarra, Drenthe and Van Der Vaart rightfully are being thrown about.  Only Van Der Vaart has played more than 10 games in all competitions.  This good for buying quality players on the cheap, and I’m sure Arsene is aware.

4.  Arsenal and Manu.  Both are sitting on a sizable chunk of dinero.  Arsene didn’t even use the entire bank allotted by the Board before the Ade and Toure sales.  Sure he spent some money in Brazil and Vermealen, but apparently he had more to spend.  Add to that the money from Ade and Toure and Arsenal can make an Arshavin splash this January.  Ditto with ManU.  More importantly, both teams need to make a purchase.  While ManU is likely to go for one big name, Arsene is more likely to go for smaller names.  A CB (e.g. Subic) and a DM (e.g. Matuidi) are the most obvious.  They fill immediate needs and don’t disrupt the teams play in the short-term or long-term.  (more on that tomorrow).

5. Italian teams.  The triple crown of Juve, Inter and AC will be shopping heavily come this January.  Serie A is a in a crisis of form and they know it.  Juve’s slide notwithstanding, these teams just don’t scare anyone right now.  Don’t get me wrong, they are still formidable, but their weaknesses are on display.  Juve’s summer project has been a failure; Inter lacks the total team quality to push for the CLeague; and, AC is old.  Honestly, I would have thought Juve would be better, but something is missing at the Old Lady.  So expect them to be out and about looking for talent as well.  Chelsea’s high end shopping, however, will hurt the Italians more.  And with Juve out of the CLeague already, the Arsenal and ManU are likely to get a bump up in any head to head competition for a player.

In the end, it’s not really surprising.  Last summer, two teams made all the headlines.  With Barca and Juve trying to grab a few minutes of attention.  Arsenal, Chelsea, ManU, Inter and AC, five of the global teams were essentially pushed to the sidelines.  Well all five are back with money to spend thanks to Madrid, Mancity and Barca.  And all of them need to buy as a make up for the summer.  Let the hunting begin.

– the student

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