Only 10 Days To Go Till Silly Season Ends And Transfer Window Opens Properly
Monday, 21st Jun 2021 09:09
Southampton alongside every other Premier League club have been linked with dozens of players, some rumours a little more plausible than others, but how many signings have Saints & their fellow top flight clubs actually made so far this window.
It seems like the whole footballing world is being targeted by Saints as they look to freshen up the squad for the coming season, but the truth is that there have been only 5 transfers announced of note for 19 of the 20 Premier League clubs and most of those have not actually seen pen put to paper on a contract, only an agreement to sign when the July 1st loyalty bonus day is passed and said bonus is safely in the bank; Theo Walcott's return to St Mary's falls under that heading.
The only club who have been busy seem to be Watford, they have seem to have agreed 5 deals already, which looks good on the stats, but two of those signings are teenagers from Rochdale & Grimsby respectively, then there is Ashley Fletcher on a free from Middlesbrough, although this seems to be his choice to run his contract down, Danny Rose who at 30 seems to be a good signing on another free and finally Imran Louza from FC Nantes who could be a great find or could be totally out of his depth, who knows.
What it does highlight though is how much of the transfer rumours in the media are absolute rubbish, if you are a professional footballer you spent June either on holiday or playing for your country, even if you had the time to deal with the formalities of a transfer, why would you want to, all contracts are to July 1st and if you are not out of contract then you are waiting for your loyalty bonus on July 1st.
It is only then we will start to find out which rumours have any substance and which are stalking horses or even just plain made up by some hack to get page hits.
So we now go into the last 10 days, I for one am not frothing at the mouth due to a lack of transfer activity, the real work won't start till July 1st, Saints and indeed any football club of note will choose to keep their cards close to their chest and stay quiet.
Let's be honest no football club will tell the world who their transfer targets are and risk alerting their rivals, would they ?
Ok there is one Tottenham Hotspur, for some reason the North London Yobbos have maintained a tradition for over 20 years now where they seem to revel in briefing the media about who they are going to sign, firstly perhaps to unsettle the player and his club and then to open contract talks behind the back of the players current club.
We ourselves have a rich heritage of Spurs doing this to us, in 2001 they poached Glenn Hoddle behind our backs and forced his hand by briefing the media that he was in a secret meeting in London, they followed that up later in the year by using the media and the fledgling Internet to unsettle Dean Richards and force the move through despite Saints reluctance to sell.
Once a Saint always a Saint is a phrase I sometimes see and whilst I don't like to speak ill of the dead and was truly upset to read of his death after a long term illness, the truth was that after he left St Mary's there weren't many people connected with Saints who had a good word to say about him, certainly the supporters who gave him and for that matter Hoddle a torrid time when they returned to the club with Spurs.
That tradition continued last summer when it was quite clear that Pierre Emile Hojbjerg was linked with a move to Spurs long before the pandemic even started, he would have gone in the January window, but Spurs weren't willing to actually pay anything for him and preferred to wait till the summer to get a fee.
Players leave clubs, fans accept that, but there is a right way to do that and when a club goes behinds backs as Liverpool did for Virgil Van Dijk then there is a line that is crossed that frankly doesn't need to be.
So only 10 days to wait now and the transfer window can open properly, the only real question is has anybody got any money ????
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
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