Although the 2015/2016 Premier League season is entering the hectic December period, managers will still have one eye on the upcoming transfer window that could make all the difference between success and failure.
Looking to conduct business in January can be valued as a sign of panic, but new arrivals have the ability to make a real impact and fire a team to glory, or take them away from the dreaded drop. Experienced Football Manager players are also aware that it opens up the opportunity to make pre-contract agreements with players across Europe who have less than six months remaining on their current deal. While Bosman transfers are few and far between in reality, the January window often creates a domino effect that sees a number of players switch clubs and have to adapt quickly to new surroundings.
There is a strong argument that teams in England, particularly in the Premier League, should invest much more into bringing players through their academy system as a way of improving the national team’s future, but looking across Europe for new recruits. Signing marquee players from countries such as Spain, Germany and Italy will naturally be reflected within odds listed on Bookies.com as an injection of quality can change a club’s fortunes, and with the rumour mill already in full flow, fans will have to decipher between fact and fiction. They will naturally have their own shopping list and preferred targets, but although some managers are not blessed with a transfer warchest to work with, the Premier League’s attractive profile could see a number of high-profile players arrive in England throughout January.
Borussia Dortmund are enjoying something of a renaissance under Thomas Tuchel this season, with the Germans looking much more like the team who reached the 2013 Champions League Final and took the Bundesliga by storm. Barely a week goes by when one of their star players is linked with a move elsewhere, with Mats Hummels invariably mentioned in newspapers as one man who could be on the move.
Manchester United have been long-term admirers of the 26-year-old, although Jurgen Klopp’s arrival has immediately created a link between Hummels and a potential January move to Liverpool. The ex-Dortmund manager has made no bones about his interest in acquiring players from his former club, but while any formal bid will likely spark a transfer tug-of-war, having the opportunity to play under Klopp once again may be difficult for Hummels to turn down.
Henri Saivet will need no introduction to avid Football Manager players who clamoured to sign the Senegalese man back in 2007 when he was widely regarded as the next Thierry Henry. Now 25, Saivet has never really fulfilled his true potential, although the Bordeaux star, who has been converted from a winger-cum-forward to a midfielder under Willy Sagnol, has impressed onlookers this season.
His superbly taken goal at Anfield against Liverpool in their recent Europa League clash was witnessed by a number of Premier League scouts, with Aston Villa, Everton and Tottenham among those who may value his £3.5 million price tag as a bargain. The latter may value Saivet as the perfect foil for Harry Kane to aid their title chances, with Bookies.com providing the easiest bet calculator to use for those who fancy Mauricio Pocchetino’s men to challenge at the top. Their strong league position could make Tottenham the favourites to sign Saivet who, although may be expected to quickly adapt to new surroundings, may be excellent value for money.
Not a transfer window goes by without Arjen Robben being strongly linked with a move to Manchester United and be re-united with Louis Van Gaal who he has worked with at domestic and international level. The 31-year-old has endured his fair share of injuries in recent years, but the Dutchman still has plenty of quality and flair that could appease the fans’ desire for more attractive football. Manchester United have flattered to deceive, despite being a point behind Manchester City and Leicester at the top, but putting an end to the on-going speculation over Robben’s future at Bayern Munich by bringing him to Old Trafford in January could be the difference between falling short and their twenty-first top-flight title.