Recently there have been a number of high profile, senior people in football that have raised concerns on the validity of the current transfer window.
The current transfer windows run from June 1 to the end of August, and again for the entire month of January. It is not the way in which transfers are conducted that has been highlighted, but more specifically the timing of the window itself.
West Bromwich Albion (WBA) manager Tony Pulis and Arsene Wenger of Arsenal have both argued that player transfers should be completed before the season kicks off, and no transfer activity should be conducted during the actual playing season.
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This thought is echoed by many within the game, most notably amongst various technical directors whose responsibility it is to ensure new players are brought in to improve the squad.
The main basis for this point of view is that managers need to have a settled squad of players that they know will be together and form the basis of the squad for at least 3 months, until the next transfer window in January.
The argument is further made for the need to have a settled and focused squad to ensure solidarity and consistency and to eradicate uncertainty in regards to who will be at the club within the specific time frame.
A case in point is the transfer saga with WBA's Saido Berahino, who has been heavily linked with a move away from the club. WBA have rejected several bids for him and the player himself has requested a transfer, which the club has rejected.
Tony Pulis wishes to keep Berahino and whilst WBA have brought in two new strikers in Rickie Lambert and Salomon Rondon, the manager still sees Berahino as an integral part of his squad.
It can be argued that the club and player alike have been unsettled by this particular episode; and Tony Pulis believes this conflict between all players and clubs can be avoided by restricting the transfer windows to pre-season only, but, as most clubs in the world are affected by the transfer window, is restricting the transfer windows to pre-season the only solution?
Of course, it is not only the Premier League that is affected by the transfer windows. Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Russia, the Netherlands and many more are all affected., and to date, few from any other league have aired their views or opinions on the matter, but all would potentially benefit from a change,
One answer could be to reduce the number of transfer windows from two to one. Not every professional league benefits from the current transfer windows due to different season start times, such as Norway, Russia and North America who begin and end their seasons at different times to the majority of most other leagues.
To incorporate as many leagues as possible (as is the case currently), a single transfer window could be held from mid-May to the end of July. The advantage would be that each player transferred would be with their new club for at least one year, removing any uncertainty and speculation in regards to their future. Each player would participate in pre-season and integrate more efficiently into the club.
Clubs themselves would be empowered to be better organised and prepared when setting targets and would handle the multiple processes involved more efficiently. Effectively, all aspects of a transfer would be streamlined and simpler to administer.
By taking these steps there would be one less thing for managers and players to worry about, and football could be better off for it.
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