Thursday, April 02, 2020
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The long awaited transfer window swings open today but for many fans, especially those from clubs of lesser riches, the approach of the January transfer window brings little but fear and foreboding. 

 

Feelings that as an Arsenal fan I'd no doubt be sharing were Fabregas fit and Barça's Xavi and Iniesta not so. But he isn’t and they are, so as the window has drawn closer and closer, the greater has been my excitement (the kind previously only reserved for wrapped toys beneath the Christmas tree) at the exciting prospects in each new batch of transfer speculation/titillation.  

 

Nevertheless, despite these new-found dreams of Arteta, Alonso and Arshavin in Arsenal shirts. I'd like to make a case for something those in the foreboding camp would cheer - and perhaps we all should consider. I'd like to suggest boarding up the January transfer window, or better still bricking it up and closing it for good. Because in the true Corinthians spirit of an Arsenal fan at the end of the day, or the season anyhow, it's what would be fairest and best for the game. 

 

The January transfer window obviously isn't all bad for smaller clubs. In fact, it has often been the savior of floundering clubs. Hodgson's signing of Hangeland last season is an excellent example of such, but then you could surely outweigh the few 'great escape' clubs with clubs who've tried but failed to buy themselves out of trouble and sunk to relegation only to face the added financial burdens of highly paid flops. 

 

Besides, it's not for the relegation dodgers that I'd like to see the window scrapped - it's for those teams who seem on the cusp of exciting times. Those that look like, given time, they could well challenge the established ‘big four’ come the end of the season.  

 

Take the Arteta rumour for example. Here we have a key player in a squad David Moyes has for some years sculpted into an ever sharper more promising unit. A player Everton have stretched to the limits of their means to reward with the kind of contract he merits, but who could leave now mid-season for as little as a GBP12mn and take with him the hopes built up over 5 or 6 seasons.  

 

Similar goings on are expected at Wigan. Real Madrid are looking to turn Antonio Valencia's head, Liverpool seem likely to prise Emile Heskey away and no end of clubs are sure to be second checking the availability of Amr Zaki too.  

 

Ironically, Fulham too may well fall victim to their own success as interest in Hangeland and Bullard increases. Even Aston villa may not be entirely safe with Real Madrid reportedly having eyes for Ashley Young. 

 

After all, don’t the big clubs have advantage enough without having a second bite at the cherry, a second chance to strip up-and-coming clubs of their best assets and momentum in order to replenish their own superior squads?  

 

What's more, without the safety net of January purchases, perhaps we'd see more top clubs having to give young British players a chance - as the current injury depleted Arsenal side have had to do with Aaron Ramsey filling the Fabregas shaped hole in midfield of late.  

 

It's certainly something to consider, if that is you can tear your thoughts away from your club's latest transfer fantasy.

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