Go early or strike late? The perils of the Premier League transfer window

The English Premier League only just finished and yet it’s going to be back on September 12th, in just under three weeks. Yet the transfer window opened the day after the EPL season finished, opening for business on Monday, July 27th. While the Premier League is on hiatus right now, not all transfers need to be completed before the shortened 2020/21 English Premier League season begins. In fact, the window is open for 10 whole weeks until the 5th October and a domestic trade between the Premier League and English football League can go on until 12th October.

So is it better to get bodies in now or wait until the prices are driven down?

The Early Birds

Chelsea and Arsenal have already done plenty of business, with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner already signed by The Blues, with rumours abounding that Kai Havertz, (£70m), Ben Chilwell (£50m) and Thiago Silva (free but 35-years-old) looking to arrive at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal too have been busy, with William Saliba and Willian coming in, the latter signing after Chelsea’s two-year deal didn’t match Arsenal’s offer of a three-year deal.

The Brazilian is quite the coup for The Gunners, and half of North London’s fans went into raptures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVMB_8yU7Hk

While others have waited, Chelsea and Arsenal signing players early shows that both teams mean business in what is sure to be a bitter scrap for the top four in 2021, let alone a title challenge. While Arsenal finished in their lowest position in 25 years of just 8th place in 2020, Chelsea made the top four, but only just, finishing a fortunate four points ahead of Leicester City.

Chelsea’s season in 2019/20 is perhaps at odds with their transfer activity, given their problems weren’t upfront, but at the back. Thiago Silva, a rumoured transfer target for the West London side, would doubtless add experience, but asking him to cope with the physical pace of the Premier League could be a step too far for the legendary 35-year-old.

Elsewhere, Manchester City have also got some early signings in as they look to bolster a team that lost nine times in the Premier League, more than Liverpool (3) and neighbours Manchester United (8). Nathan Ake has arrived for £40 million from Bournemouth, and others are being lined up to protect City’s backline from conceding the crucial goals they did last year.

The Late Bloomers

Tottenham Hotspur are yet to really penetrate the transfer market to sign attacking prospects that would insulate them from injuries to players such as Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane. In fact, they’ve let go of Kyle Walker-Peters for £12m to Southampton and in the other direction, have signed just Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Joe Hart. While Mourinho is outwardly appearing delighted with his club’s current conduct, he’ll surely want more striking reinforcements once the transfer window slams shut.

Liverpool have not strengthened like good champions must to head off the challenges of others in 2020/21, only bringing in Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos for £11.75m. They have been rumoured to be interested in Bayern Munich’s starring midfielder in the Champions League campaign, Thiago Alcantara, but there’s no bid yet for the 29-year-old and the defence of their maiden Premier League title kicks off in 18 days.

Manchester United are perhaps the most puzzling club to have failed to sign anyone so far, with their time-consuming and ultimately fruitless pursuit so far of Jadon Sancho taking up much of their energy. Add into the mix a Greek tragedy from a PR perspective on holiday for club captain Harry Maguire and the Red Devils may be happy to have their current squad fit and legally available when the season kicks off. Expect the Premier League giant to do their business right up until closing time on October 5th.