In this summer's transfer window three players (that we know of) handed in transfer requests. These being, John Stones of Everton, Saido Berahino of West Brom and Victor Wanyama of Southampton. However, all three are still at their clubs. Why?
Each respective club ignored their players wishes for a transfer. Everton in the face of a huge £40m bid from Chelsea, West Brom after reported bids of £20m from Spurs and Wanyama after speculation and interest from Spurs again (some reports had linked Liverpool and United with moves also).
Now, one may argue that in denying these transfer requests the smaller clubs (although Southampton are very much on the same level as Spurs now) are standing up to the big clubs in the league with all of their financial might.
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It has been commonplace since the Premier League began that richer clubs could pick and choose the best players from the mid-table and relegation battling teams and that often there was nothing to do about it. In this sense, a win for the underdog is refreshing.
However, I believe too often people forget that the men and women that we see competing against each other for entertainment are people too.
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People with aspirations, goals and, let's face it, the desire for more financial stability. It is a very similar scenario to your boss refusing to acknowledge that you have handed your notice in, although I do appreciate that these players have signed contracts with their respective clubs that they are legally obliged to uphold.
The question around the ethics of denying a transfer request is still blurry, but what about their function. If 100% of transfers involving a transfer request in the Premier League (that we know of) ended in the player staying at their club, has the transfer request become obsolete.
One can only imagine that other lower mid table and relegation clubs will be strengthened by the showings of Everton and West Brom and will begin to reject their star players' potential moves to bigger clubs more frequently.
Are we seeing the end of the transfer request? Or was this season a blip with a club's desire to win ranking higher than financial motivation?
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