European football has already resumed for the weekend after the closure of most of the transfer window, but the question before we go into another round of argument over league games is who won it?
Is winning the transfer window dependent on how many players you buy? Maybe, how much you spent? Or it could just be what the players you buy add to the team? But knowing what they add to the team is only after they have played a few games or how the team is faring at the end of the season, before their impact can be seen.
Chelsea were the highest spenders
The pride of London, Chelsea FC were the biggest spenders in the summer transfer window with two hundred and eighty two million pounds being released for the purchase of new players. Their net spend was, however, one hundred and ninety six million pounds as they had also sold some of their players in the window.
Chelsea brought in Marc Cucurella from Brighton and Hove Albion for sixty million pounds, Raheem Sterling from Manchester City for forty seven million pounds, Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for thirty three million pounds, Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa for twenty million pounds, Cesare Casadei, from Inter Milan for seventeen million pounds, Wesley Fofana from Leicester City for seventy five million pounds, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona for ten million pounds and Denis Zakaria from Juventus on loan.
Why did Chelsea spend so much on so many players? To be fair to them, they had lost Emerson Palmieri, Timo Werner, Andreas Christensen, Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Rudiger, Ross Barkley, and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
They needed to replace them, but one thing Chelsea fans should know that bringing in so many players in the same window has hardly ever worked right for a club with ambitions to bring in silverware.
But looking at the bright side, the fans can now be reassured that their new owners are willing to splash the cash like Roman Abrahamovic. At least that fear is gone.
Did Manchester United panic buy?
It certainly looks that way. Manchester United did not seem able to get their targets but always got the plan B or C.
Manchester United always wanted Frenkie De Jong in their midfield. They thought they had him (as the European media reported), but it was as we say in local Nigerian parlance ‘The more you look, the less you see’ and when it was eventually clear that they would not get him, they went for Real Madrid’s Caemiro. Was this a panic buy, especially, coming after their 4-0 loss to Brentford? Tyrel Malacia and Lisandro Martinez have done well for them in defence, leaving the investor, Harry Maguire on the bench and having doubts over his future.
But the biggest news from Manchester United was Cristiano Ronaldo throwing a tantrum about wanting to leave but no club wanting him. He stays, to play in the Europa League, while Lionel Messi closes up on his Champions League goals’ record and his other records too. My guess is that Cristiano will be focused more on the Champions League than the Europa Cup he will be playing in, and we all know why.
Nottingham Forrest, and Barcelona, the truly Nigerian clubs
If any clubs in Europe behaved like what we see in the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, then they had to be Nottingham Forrest and Barcelona.
Nottingham Forrest for the number of players they signed in one window, then Barcelona for the fact that they were a broke club who could still sign players, then acquiring players they could not register because they are broke.
Nottingham Forest actually broke the British transfer record for number of players signed in a window. They signed twenty one players, including three on deadline day. It could have been 22 but they failed to land Michy Batshuayi. The could actually still make it 22 as they expect Serge Aurier to join as free agent.
It is madness for one club, especially if you are not in the Nigerian league to sign as much as twenty one players, but was there a reason for this?
The manager of the side, Steve Cooper really had to strengthen his team after they lost many players from the end of the last season.
Like a Nigerian League side, a lot of the players on their books in their Championship season did not belong to them.
Five left on free transfers, while first-choice goalkeeper Brice Samba joined Lens after rejecting a new contract.
Djed Spence, James Garner, Philip Zinckernagel, Max Lowe and Keinan Davis were all on loan and either returned to their parent clubs or joined other clubs. You can calculate already eleven players gone already.
But replacing departed players is one thing, signing recklessly is another. The team already had Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis as strikers, yet they went for Michy Batshuayi?
They signed three left backs- Renan Lodi on loan from Atletico Madrid, plus Omar Richards from Bayern Munich and Harry Toffolo from Huddersfield, so, what is their plan? To win the EPL? Finish in top 6? Top 6? Top half? Or just survive relegation?
For Barcelona, we understood that they were broke, but they still wanted to sign high profile players by selling of their property. After signing these players, there was the fear that they could not register them because of the same finances issue.
Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen first joined on free transfer, then they hijacked a Chelsea move to sign Raphinha and grabbed him.
They also got Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich, Jules Kounde and then Hector Bellerin.
Eventually, they registered all their players with two days to the start of the season.
So, who won the Transfer window?
It is definitely Chelsea, based on amount of money spent, Nottingham Forrest for the number of players they signed, or maybe, Barcelona for being able to sell of all their inheritance to buy players in the summer.
Regarding what these players bring to the respective teams, we will not know until half the season is done or at the end of the season.
Bet tips for the weekend
Everton v Liverpool 1.5
Brentford v Leeds 1.5
Chelsea v West Ham United 1.5
Newcastle v Palace 1.5
Tottenham v Fulham 1.5
Aston Villa v Manchester City 2.5
Madrid v Mallorca 1x
in v Bayern away win
Nantes v PSG away in Ajax v Camburr 1x
Manchester United v Arsenal 1.5
Good luck and remember to bet responsibly