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Chelsea won the transfer window

https://theathletic.com/2109872/2020/10/05/chelsea-transfer-window-analysis-review-havertz/

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Chelsea won the transfer window. It’s remarkable just how uncontroversial that statement is but Roman Abramovich’s money hasn’t got him quite so much of what he wanted in the market for more than 15 years, when his first spectacular wave of spending set the stage for Jose Mourinho’s domination of English football.

The raw numbers are eye-catching enough: north of £200 million committed to transfer fees at a time when most other elite European clubs have been forced to rein in or postpone their recruitment plans due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. But more significant is that Abramovich’s money has successfully acquired more of Chelsea’s first-choice transfer targets than in any window since the summer of 2014 when Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa arrived at Stamford Bridge.

Kai Havertz, the biggest single outlay and marquee signing, is a unique goalscoring and creative talent that virtually every club in Europe would have been delighted to build around for the next decade. Chelsea rarely find themselves the preferred destination for a young star so widely coveted; Eden Hazard was probably the last one way back in 2012. The arrival of Germany’s golden boy alone would be enough to consider this transfer window a significant step forward but he didn’t come alone.

Chelsea’s opportunistic move for Timo Werner, after Liverpool decided they could not commit to paying his £54 million release clause, has similarities to the £32 million deal that brought Costa from Atletico Madrid in 2014. Now, as then, the team’s need for goals — chronic at times last season — has been addressed in the most emphatic way possible by the addition of one of Europe’s most prolific and explosive goalscorers.

If Werner is the Costa of Chelsea’s 2020 off-season signings, Hakim Ziyech is the closest thing to Fabregas: a dazzling creator, whose relentless ambition with the ball at his feet should inject some refreshing urgency into a midfield that can too easily lapse into safe, sterile possession. Moreover, the £33 million fee Marina Granovskaia agreed with Ajax back in February still has the look of impressive value in a transfer market distorted by the pandemic.

Lampard now has all the attacking firepower he could ever wish for. He also got his preferred choice of left-back upgrade in Ben Chilwell after a lengthy courtship, with Granovskaia eventually talking Leicester City down from their initial £80 million asking price to a deal worth around £50 million. Chelsea’s transfer window hasn’t been entirely without compromise, however — pragmatism has been the guiding philosophy behind reinforcements elsewhere in the defensive half of this team.

At 36, Thiago Silva is simply too old to be presented as anything other than a sticking plaster for a back line that conceded 54 goals in the Premier League last season. Lampard wanted a Virgil van Dijk-type figure, dominant in personality as well as talent at the heart of a defence, but centre-backs of such character and quality are extreme rarities. Silva was one of them for much of his prime, and Chelsea are effectively making a low-cost bet that he still has some drops of greatness left to give.

Then, we have the goalkeeper situation, rendered more urgent by Kepa Arrizabalaga’s shocking disintegration. Chelsea had neither the resources to spend big on a new No 1 with so much money committed elsewhere, nor the will to do so — too much has been invested in Kepa to simply abandon him during a crisis of confidence. Edouard Mendy, specifically scouted and recommended by Petr Cech and Christophe Lollichon, is a signing that walks the narrow line between satisfying Lampard’s desire for a new goalkeeper and not necessarily ending the Chelsea career of the man he has displaced.

Some might reasonably argue that, for all their spending, Chelsea’s recruitment push has yielded the least-convincing solutions for Lampard’s biggest problems. This was a team better in attack than defence last season and if Silva and Mendy don’t make a positive impact, the dynamic will only become even more top-heavy. That need for greater balance — particularly in midfield — is part of the reason why Declan Rice, the one Lampard target yet to be brought to Stamford Bridge, is still being pursued.

To have any chance of making that deal happen, Granovskaia needs to sell as well as she has bought but the evidence so far suggests that most of the established names on the fringes of Lampard’s bloated squad will leave on loan rather than generating transfer fees. This simply isn’t a window in which most clubs are willing to spend, to the point that even Ross Barkley — regarded internally as one of Chelsea’s more saleable assets — garnered no attractive permanent offers before joining Aston Villa for the season.

Chelsea won the transfer window. That doesn’t mean they will win on the pitch this season, that all their signings will thrive immediately or that all their unwanted players can be sold for maximum value. It does, however, mean they have positioned themselves extremely well to build another era of consistent contention for the Premier League and the Champions League.

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Chelsea :Werner, Ziyech, Havertz, Silva, Sarr, Chilwell. Man United in talks with the Greek Police 

Sold Hazard, Aina, kalas, Luiz, Hector, Omeruo, Morata, Pasalic, Nathan for 204m Buying Werner, Ziyech, Havertz, Chilwell, Thiago for 205m Spending 1m so far this window is great business

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20 hours ago, Fernando said:

Rice is not bad, and he will be good if he comes here like we are seeing that Chillwell will be good despite a lot of people hating before coming on board. 

No there were those of us including me that were reticent, but I and we were never "haters"

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9 hours ago, oldportblue said:

according to 90min twitter account, spurs won the transfer window emoji1787.png
probably a bad case of recency bias, in terms of just seeing spurs demolish MU the other day lol

a5582b9f9b83d35366ac3287590c7664.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

they are sniffing some spuds glue

Sergio Reguilón   (RM has a buyback clause, so bye-bye in 2 years)
Matt Doherty   (soon 29yo, and is a wingback, not that good as a trad fullback)
Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg  
Carlos Vinícius    
Gareth Bale    loan around £20m in wages and loan fees and he is 32yo next summer
Joe Hart  Free transfer

they did not grab a CB, so only have 3 true ones on the squad (unless you count dregs Cameron Carter-Vickers, who is perpetually on loan at such powerhouses like Luton, Stoke, Swansea, Ipswich, etc)


Davinson Sánchez   (so erratic lately) 
Toby Alderweireld   32yo in 4 months or so, deffo the only one I would have actual faith in as long as Sanchez keeps going up and down, down and up
Japhet Tanganga   21yo very inexperienced

plus the sometime DMF, sometime CB sometime benchwarmer, meh Eric Dier, the epitome of an overrated England player
 

versus


Kai Havertz   
Timo Werner   
Ben Chilwell 
Hakim Ziyech   
Edouard Mendy   
Malang Sarr   Free transfer
Thiago Silva    Free transfer

in terms of buying .the only thing we did not do is strengthen DMF

roflmaoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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20 minutes ago, Vesper said:

they are sniffing some spuds glue

Sergio Reguilón   (RM has a buyback clause, so bye-bye in 2 years)
Matt Doherty   (soon 29yo, and is a wingback, not that good as a trad fullback)
Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg  
Carlos Vinícius    
Gareth Bale    loan around £20m in wages and loan fees and he is 32yo next summer
Joe Hart  Free transfer

they did not grab a CB, so only have 3 true ones on the squad (unless you count dregs Cameron Carter-Vickers, who is perpetually on loan at such powerhouses like Luton, Stoke, Swansea, Ipswich, etc)


Davinson Sánchez   (so erratic lately) 
Toby Alderweireld   32yo in 4 months or so, deffo the only one I would have actual faith in as long as Sanchez keeps going up and down, down and up
Japhet Tanganga   21yo very inexperienced

plus the sometime DMF, sometime CB sometime benchwarmer, meh Eric Dier, the epitome of an overrated England player
 

versus


Kai Havertz   
Timo Werner   
Ben Chilwell 
Hakim Ziyech   
Edouard Mendy   
Malang Sarr   Free transfer
Thiago Silva    Free transfer

in terms of buying .the only thing we did not do is strengthen DMF

roflmaoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Like I said in the past Mourinho like Conte are worried about now and because of that those buys are so short termism. 

We on the on the hand are building for now and future. Difference between managers that don't care about future. 

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Why Chelsea’s Loan System Works

Why Chelsea’s Loan System Works Subscribe: http://bit.ly/TifoSubscribe | 🔔Make sure to enable all push notifications!🔔 Watch the most recent videos: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLW...
 
Chelsea have become infamous for their manipulation of the loan market in recent times. In the 2018/19 season, for example, they had 43 players out on loan. Viewed by many as an abuse of the system. But for Chelsea and, crucially, the players - it's working. So how do they do it, and what are the benefits?
 
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On 07/10/2020 at 11:01 AM, Fernando said:

Rice is not bad, and he will be good if he comes here like we are seeing that Chillwell will be good despite a lot of people hating before coming on board. 

What we saw from Ben is that he was 'OK' not brilliant vs Palace. Certainly I don't feel it was enough to overcome the many 'glad we sold him' reactions from Leicester fans. A team's fans are, in my opinion, a valuable source of information on a player. What they think and say does not have to be the decisive factor but it's not worthless information. Not unless we all think we are completely wrong about the players we want sold. Would you advise any club to ignore your views on the Chelsea players you don't like and to pay tens of millions of pounds to buy them out of their Chelsea contracts? Ben can be good and that's positive. Frank really wanted him and that's very positive but many Leicester fans did not rate him as highly as Frank does and that's not nothing. 

The thing I like most about Ben's display vs The Eagles is that he's not afraid of his right foot. A very simple thing but it makes such a difference. For a player to not be a prisoner of his body shape, to not be forced to go back but be able to play a little 'round the corner' ball is huge. Four or five times a game it could equal forward momentum maintained rather than forward momentum completely squandered. I like Ben a lot just for that.

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Chelsea eye Dutch free agent as an alternative for £60m-rated English star

https://astamfordbridgetoofar.com/2020/10/10/chelsea-eye-atalanta-star-marten-de-roon-as-declan-rice-alternative/

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Chelsea keeping tabs on Atalanta star Marten de Roon

According to The Express, Chelsea could target Atalanta midfielder Marten de Roon next summer.

The 29-year-old is set to be a free agent next summer and is a cheaper alternative for Declan Rice.

The Blues were heavily linked with a move for the West Ham United star all summer. However, the deal failed to take off and the Hammers have placed a £60m price tag on the 21-year-old.

De Roon has prior experience of playing in the Premier League. The Dutch international was a part of a Middlesborough side that got relegated in 2017.

It was a short-lived stay at the North Yorkshire outfit for the 29-year-old. He made 36 appearances across all competitions, scoring five goals. (h/t Transfermarkt)

 

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Transfer survey: agents explain best deals, worst moves and what really happened

https://theathletic.com/2110375/2020/10/10/agent-transfer-survey-thiago-cavani-manchester-united-everton-solskjaer-parker/

Premier League – The Athletic

Which Premier League club had the best transfer window? Who had the worst? What was the most surprising deal? Is there a big signing that is destined to go wrong? Which new player is going to light things up over the next eight months? Did anybody slip under the radar?

After the main transfer window that allows Premier League clubs to trade across the world closed on Monday evening, The Athletic set about finding out the answers to those questions and more by speaking to the people at the centre of the deals.

Across the past few days, we asked 18 football agents the same 15 questions, all under anonymity to encourage them to speak honestly and candidly about the transfer activity that has gone on over the last couple of months.

We also asked them if they earned too much and, picking up on Gary Lineker’s complaints earlier this week, whether the time has come to change the regulations that allow agents to be paid by more than one party in the same deal.

Forget “show me the money”. It’s time to show you the answers.


1. Which was the best deal of the window?

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“In terms of increasing the club’s profile, generating a feel-good factor and being an absolute bargain, I think it takes some beating. Long-term it may not necessarily work out, but in the short term, you only need to look at the impact he’s had already. He really is a superstar footballer. Everton aren’t just signing top-six rejects now, they’ve signed a top-class performer when he is fit and motivated.”

That wasn’t the only time that James Rodriguez, who has been a central figure in Everton’s brilliant start to the season, was mentioned in a category dominated by Merseyside. The Colombian polled 22 per cent of the vote. “He’s completely transformed Everton and taken them to another level,” said another agent.

Although Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara came out on top with 28 per cent — “Superb player at a ridiculously low price and well-structured fee,” said one agent — there was also plenty of praise for another signing at Goodison Park.

“Allan at Everton could be the most transformative,” claimed one agent. “Look at his statistics in Italy for winning the ball back — he’s bang on the money in terms of what they need.”

“Allan to Everton, from a changing-room perspective, presence on the pitch — he’s been there, done it. Carlo (Ancelotti) knows him and he’ll set the standards for Everton now,” added another agent.

More than one agent mentioned that Newcastle have got excellent value for money by bringing in Callum Wilson, a proven Premier League striker, from Bournemouth for £20 million. Other standout deals that were highlighted included Gareth Bale rejoining Tottenham Hotspur “because of what it means to Spurs and Mourinho to have a signing like that”, and Thomas Partey’s deadline-day move to Arsenal. “He’s a game-changer.”


2. Which was the worst deal of the window?

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Two words: Edinson Cavani. “Is that a good use of the budget? Are Man United going to do much in the time that he’s here? Chucking him into a squad like that seems pointless.”

Described as a “panic buy” by many, the Uruguayan polled more votes than anybody else (28 per cent). Some of the criticism of United’s decision to sign him was scathing. “Timing, agents, age, wage, everything. It’s just, ‘How the fuck do we sell some shirts in a part of the world?’”

Another Old Trafford signing, Donny van de Beek, was mentioned by a couple of agents, although that had nothing to do with the player’s ability and is more a reflection of United’s transfer strategy — or the lack of one. “I don’t understand Van de Beek. He’s a good player but not what United needed.”

The £35 million Wolves have paid for Fabio Silva “to be your No 2 striker” was highlighted by one agent, while others question whether Arsenal will get value for money with Thomas Partey.

Generally, though, there was a feeling that the pandemic has played a part in making clubs think more carefully about their larger outlays, which meant agents weren’t spoilt for choice in this category. “There aren’t loads of bad signings,” one said. “Clubs in the Premier League have tried to buy sure things and avoid expensive gambles. They’ve gone for bigger fees for more established players still with resale value. But if I had to say, Nelson Semedo.”

The Portuguese right-back was bought for £27.6 million to replace Matt Doherty. In fact, Wolves’ decision to sell the Irishman to Tottenham was described as the worst deal of the window by another agent, who couldn’t understand why the Midlands club sanctioned Doherty’s departure or, for that matter, how he would fit in at Spurs, bearing in mind his best position is as a wing-back rather than a right-back.

Cavani wasn’t the only late deal that was described as one of the worst. “Tottenham taking Carlos Vinicius on loan at the end of the window,” answered one agent. “Their target was Ollie Watkins and he wanted to join, but Daniel Levy wouldn’t meet the valuation and started playing games. Those last-minute deals always just seem like filling gaps — they’re not necessarily the right deal for the player and the club.”


3. Which was the most surprising deal of the window?

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“Chelsea’s aggressive stance in general surprised me. We haven’t seen another deal the size of the Kai Havertz deal in this window. He’s 21, he’s a good player, and they were prepared to put their money where their mouth is. It showed the enormous amount of pull that Chelsea still have, but it also creates pressure on Frank Lampard.”

Partey was mentioned more than anybody else, with 25 per cent of the agents nominating him, largely because of the fee and wages, which many suspected would be beyond Arsenal, especially when it appeared as though a deal was dead. “Just because they got it done,” said one agent, explaining his thinking. “Partey wasn’t cheap, his salary is very, very high, I didn’t think Arsenal would do it. Doesn’t strike me as an Arsenal deal.”

With 19 per cent of the vote, Gareth Bale’s return to Spurs was the next highest. “It’s not because Tottenham signed Bale — it’s an obvious fit,” explained one agent. “But the fact that he actually moved in the end after so many windows of not moving.”

If there was a transfer that really raised eyebrows because of the finances, it was Fabio Silva’s move from Porto to Wolves. “That’s the best signing of the window for Jorge Mendes, who made (about) £7 million commission on that.”

Another agent added, “It’s not the transfer itself, because we all know the connections there. But the fee. It’s just staggering.”

Rhian Brewster’s name also came up in this category. The feeling earlier this summer was that Liverpool would either loan the 20-year-old striker or keep him. In the end, Brewster was sold to Sheffield United for £23.5 million. “There’s a bit of a risk in terms of the price Sheffield United have paid,” said an agent. “But there’s also a bit of risk for Brewster in going to a club who don’t have a point yet this season.”


4. Which club had the best window?

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“Everton. But Aston Villa and Leeds have done interesting business, and Tottenham have had a decent window as well.”

Throw Chelsea into the mix too and that answer above would cover the five clubs who were mentioned more often than anyone else in response to this question, with Everton (33 per cent) and Aston Villa (22 per cent) the clear winners.

It is still early days and, inevitably, perceptions are coloured by the league table, yet it’s hard to argue with the view that both Everton and Villa have “improved by some distance” on the back of their business this summer.

With Villa, who have brought in Ollie Watkins, Matty Cash, Emiliano Martinez, Bertrand Traore and Ross Barkley, it feels as though lessons have been learnt from last summer.

As for Everton, Allan and Rodriguez are the headline-grabbers but Abdoulaye Doucoure could prove to be an excellent addition as well. “Everton and Spurs look to be much stronger than when it started,” one agent said.

Although Bale’s return was always likely to overshadow everything else at Tottenham this summer, the bigger picture looks promising on the back of adding Sergio Reguilon, Vinicius and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. “Spurs filled a lot of the holes they had and bought in experience and hungry players,” added another agent.

The big money was spent at Chelsea, who were making up for lost time after being under a transfer embargo. “Defensively they’re still suspect,” said one agent. “But to improve their attacking talent to the extent they did, and to sign some of the players they did, was pretty impressive given the difficulties others have faced.”


5. Which club had the worst window?

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No prizes for guessing how this turned out. Manchester United were on top (or bottom as the case may be) with 32 per cent, followed by Burnley (28 per cent) and Fulham (20 per cent).

“United missed major targets. Jadon Sancho was a disaster.”

“Man United. Not just based on who they signed but also because the players they wanted weren’t sorted early, or at all in some cases.”

“Man United: lacked top players in key areas.”

“Manchester United. It highlighted the failings of the club, because they didn’t hit any of the targets that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted. As a big club, you have to be able to deliver in the market.”

That gives a flavour of the feeling among agents about what went on at Old Trafford this summer.

In the case of Burnley, less definitely didn’t feel like more. “Burnley didn’t sign anyone, which means they will only go backwards.”

That’s not strictly true, given that Dale Stephens joined from Brighton and Will Norris signed from Wolves, but the general point stands that it was an awful transfer window for Sean Dyche, who tried and failed to sign Harry Wilson from Liverpool and generally sounded exasperated with the lack of activity at Turf Moor.

Fulham, in contrast, did make plenty of signings — just the wrong ones in the eyes of most agents The Athletic spoke to. As for West Ham, the decision to sell Grady Diangana to West Brom caused an uproar within the club and their pursuit of a central defender — whether that be Antonio Rudiger, Fikayo Tomori or James Tarkowski — failed. “West Ham just cannot get it right,” one agent said. “They still haven’t addressed the fundamental problems in their squad.”


6. Premier League clubs spent more than £1 billion, how, if at all, did the pandemic change this window?

Looking at that figure, it feels as though it was business as usual at the elite level and that coronavirus made precious little difference to how Premier clubs approached the transfer window. Agents, however, strongly disagree.

“Chelsea spent previous budgets and they inflated the market and net spend so that should be taken into consideration.”

“It’s changed the money side completely. Clubs have had budgets slashed massively so it’s had to come from owners instead.”

“The number of loan deals suggests a lot of clubs were struggling. Teams have had to settle for second and third-choice options.”

“It has made a lot of clubs a lot more cautious. There was a lot less risk-taking from the clubs near the bottom end of the Premier League, which some of the bigger clubs take advantage of.”

One interesting point that was raised by several agents focused on how payment terms have changed during the pandemic — specifically, how much more flexible clubs were willing to be to ensure that a transfer went through. “Transfer fees have been spread over the duration more than ever, with many deals heavily weighted to later years,” one agent explained.

Another comment that was echoed by many agents centred on the problems that Premier League clubs experienced when trying to move on fringe players, especially overseas, where the money has dried up. “Clubs struggled to sell players they didn’t want as European leagues were very short of finances.”

Some sensed a shift in the relationship between clubs and agents.

“It changed negotiation tactics,” said one. “Agents had less power and it was used as an excuse by clubs. Spurs furloughed staff and forked out ridiculous money for Bale and Reguilon, so they’re all hypocrites. Goalposts moved in favour of the clubs for the first time in a long time. Even Man United didn’t back down on (Sancho’s agent) Emeka Obasi’s alleged demands for Sancho.”

Several agents pointed to the bigger picture, away from the Premier League and further down the pyramid, where the pandemic has had a huge impact on the transfer window.

“It changed things massively, particularly at the lower levels. It’s a disaster for the EFL, and they’ve got a crisis now,” said one agent. “The headlines are always about the ‘big four’, the ‘big six’ or the Premier League. Those top clubs can leverage the debt, trade out of it and still be around because they’re massive businesses. In the lower leagues, the transfer decisions they’re making are about how to keep going.”


7. Which failed deal do you now expect to happen in January?

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“The one boy who suffered and I think is dealing with it very well is Max Aarons. He had interest from Barcelona, but Norwich didn’t have to do anything unless their valuation was met. Barcelona went out and signed Sergino Dest, but if he (Aarons) has a good eight, nine weeks, someone else will come in for him in January.”

Aarons could, in theory, still move to a Premier League club this window, given that there is an extension for EFL players. With some others, it’s a more difficult situation. Rudiger, for example, will almost certainly leave Chelsea in January unless he plays regularly over the next two months. Tarkowski to Leicester is another possible deal that was mentioned.

Not surprisingly, Sancho’s name came up more than anybody else’s, although that doesn’t mean agents think that he’ll sign for Manchester United in January.

“I’d expect loads of speculation around Sancho again. From what you hear in the circles you move, he’ll want a very big move soon. I’m just not sure I see Man United getting him.”

“Jadon Sancho leaving Dortmund, although it could be next summer and it might not be Man United.”

The good news for those who are unsettled, or out of favour, is that they have little time to wait until the winter window opens. “Younger lads that didn’t go on loan will force a move,” said one agent. “The Carabao Cup is out of the window for the next two months as the rounds have already been played. Fikayo Tomori and Billy Gilmour should go in January. Brandon Williams doesn’t want to be No 3 left-back at United. He would be absolutely mental to not go somewhere like Leeds or Southampton. Or a top-half Championship club.”


8. Which under-the-radar signing will make a big impact?

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This was probably the hardest question for agents to answer and drew a real cross-section of responses. “Nothing’s under the radar anymore,” said one agent. “But no one really saw Partey to Arsenal coming and that could be massive for them.”

Ross Barkley was the most popular with 16 per cent of the vote. Some may question how an England international can be described as an under-the-radar signing but the nature of Barkley’s move – a season-long loan to Aston Villa and, on the face of it, a step down – meant that it wasn’t going to make huge headlines.

There are already signs, though, that it could work out brilliantly for Barkley and Villa, especially with him being freed up to play in a more advanced role. “Ross Barkley has a point to prove,” an agent said.

Another agent who mentioned Barkley referenced a couple of other astute signings. “Eberechi Eze at Crystal Palace will surprise people, and Gabriel at Arsenal will prove to be an excellent piece of business.”

Eze, along with Leicester’s Timothy Castagna, were the only players other than Barkley to be nominated at least twice. Other names put forward included Raphinha, who joined Leeds from Rennes, and Ryan Fraser, who moved to Newcastle from Bournemouth.

“I think Ryan Fraser on a free transfer is a real steal for Newcastle,” said one agent. “If and when they get him fit, he’s a top-10 player, no doubt. A lot of clubs looked at him. He seemed to want a top-six move but it never came.”


9. If you could change one thing about the transfer window, what would it be?

First things first, nobody is happy with the current format.

“Keep it open longer and go through to March in one window rather than two. Given what is happening now with the pandemic, if there is a lower-league club that needs £50,000 to pay outstanding debts, how are they getting that? I think that should have changed. No common sense was given to that.

“As it stands, everyone is ringing you at the same time, you’ve got a finite amount of time to get things done, the bigger boys take priority over someone else who is trying to get out. You would avoid all of that because you’re not scrambling around, and all that deadline-day bollocks with Jim White in his yellow tie. It’s all horseshit. It’s all for the drama.

“But it’s people’s livelihoods that we’re messing with. So I would take it back to how it was before, maybe not to March but to the end of February. But I would definitely run it through and not close it. Why should a player who doesn’t move in the summer, and is pissed off, have to wait until January? Why can’t we get them out in November if they’re not part of the manager’s plans?”

Several agents felt the same way and talked about the windows being a “restriction of trade”.

Others believe that the current window has been open too long and that it should have closed before the start of the season, without any special dispensation made for deals between Premier League and EFL clubs. “A lot of people were confused by the October 5 deadline, then the October 16 deadline,” said one agent.

“It’s stupid that you can’t move from Premier League to Premier League now, yet you can move from Premier League to EFL or vice-versa,” added another.

Common ground was easier to find when it comes to the belief that all transfer windows should be aligned, particularly across Europe. “Windows shutting in different countries at different times — it’s ludicrous. If you are trying to negotiate multiple deals towards the end of a window and you’re dealing with different cut-off points, it leads to so much confusion.”

Picking up on the comments made earlier about the need to apply some “common sense” in these unprecedented times, one agent suggested that football will need to rethink the way transfers work, especially given the ramifications further down the pyramid.

“The way the market is now, they may have to look at the transfer window system differently. We don’t know when all this is going to recover — it could be next year, the year after, or it might never recover to the levels it was before. The problem with the transfer window system is it puts so much pressure on everyone in the industry, and we might need something a bit more sustainable.”


10. Following this transfer window, which Premier League manager do you think is most likely to be the first to lose their job?

8-1.png

“There are two, but one is slightly ahead in the race now. Solskjaer is under pressure because of the transfer window being as light as it was for United. Lampard is under pressure at Chelsea. There’s one guy hovering over both jobs, and that’s Mauricio Pochettino.”

That was the only time an agent put Lampard’s name forward for this category. It was a different story with Solskjaer, however. In what feels like a sign of the times at Old Trafford, the Manchester United manager polled 32 per cent of the vote. “At this rate, it’ll be Ole,” said one agent.

The favourite to be out of a job first, though, is Scott Parker, whose Fulham side have lost their opening four matches. On top of that, Parker, who was nominated by 40 per cent of agents as the most likely to be sacked, has clashed with Tony Khan over comments that the Fulham vice-chairman made in the wake of the defeat to Aston Villa.

Fulham aren’t the only club in the Premier League where agents highlighted friction between the manager and his employers. “Scott Parker is the obvious one. But Sean Dyche doesn’t seem to have a merry relationship with the board there and he’s being vocal publicly about the things that are annoying him.”

With 12 per cent of the vote, Dyche ended up third in line for an exit, with one agent suggesting that the Burnley manager could resign. Slaven Bilic, Chris Wilder and Graham Potter were also mentioned.


11. Who will win the title?

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“Last weekend was very strange, but I still think Liverpool. They still know how to do it, they’ve got consistency and the players there with Klopp. Manchester City have got their own problems, United have got problems, Chelsea are a work in progress and Everton you can’t judge after four games. Liverpool know how to win and they’ve done it, so you can’t go against them.”

That agent was speaking for more than two-thirds of his colleagues. Although Liverpool were thumped 7-2 at Aston Villa, as many as 68 per cent of the agents felt that Jurgen Klopp’s side would retain the title on the back of the window closing. There was a feeling that Manchester City could have done more to strengthen and, at the same time, a sense that Liverpool’s squad has been improved with the signings of Thiago, in particular, and Diogo Jota.

One agent predicted Liverpool would win the title but suggested that “it’s an amazing season for a well-organised underdog”. Could Tottenham under Mourinho fit that description? Aside from Manchester City, who polled 26 per cent of the vote, Spurs were the only other club to be tipped to win the league in our survey.


12. Who will finish in the top four?

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Although seven clubs are in the mix according to the agents we asked, only 16 per cent said that Everton will sustain their brilliant start to the season and be in the top four come the end.

Manchester City and Liverpool were mandatory picks for all bar one agent, who left Jurgen Klopp’s side out of the top four. Chelsea (72 per cent) and Spurs (67 per cent) were widely tipped to join Liverpool and City. As for Manchester United, they ended up with fewer votes than Everton.

That leaves Arsenal, who were backed by 39 per cent of agents to make it into the top four. “I’d be surprised if City and Chelsea don’t,” said one agent, who tipped Liverpool to win the title. “I think Arsenal could be dark horses. People are talking about Tottenham but if Harry Kane or Son Heung-min get injured, I think they’ll struggle.”


13. Who will be relegated?

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“I can’t see Fulham getting out of trouble, and I still think West Brom will go down, and Burnley are likely too. I don’t think they’ve got the squads to deal with a shortened season and the injuries that will come with that.”

That answer pretty much sums things up. In fact, look away now Fulham and West Brom fans: every agent predicted that Fulham will be relegated and most said West Brom will join them. Leeds, the other club promoted from the Championship last season, never got a mention.

The same can’t be said for Burnley, where a perfect storm is brewing — a dreadful transfer window, a bad start to the season and signs of unrest between Dyche and the board. More than half of the agents surveyed believe that Burnley will go down this season.

One in three think that Sheffield United, another club without a point on the board yet, will be relegated. Brighton, who have lost three of their first four, were also seen as vulnerable.


14. Do you feel agents generally are overpaid, underpaid or paid fairly for their work on transfer deals?

12.png

“How we earn our money is misrepresented in the press. The fans don’t actually understand what we do. We do an awful lot to help our players and support their families. We do everything for them — it’s not just a contract. The perception is that all we’re there for is to take as much money out of the game as possible. No, we’re not. We’re there to help our players. It’s a negotiation and if there’s a deal, we get paid. All this nonsense that we’re killing the industry… players need agents. Clubs use agents to get players too, all the time.

“There are bad agents out there. One told me last year, ‘I’m going to move him (his player) because I’ve got my daughter’s wedding coming up’. In every industry, you’re going to get greed and corruption, but in football, it’s the agents who are all labelled as parasites. The majority of agents are paid fairly for what they do with players and clubs.”

That was a common theme in response to this question — agents feeling aggrieved and fed up because, in their eyes, the actions of a minority gives everyone in their line of work a bad reputation.

“If you take a look at the agency world as a whole, including the guys working in League One, League Two and non-League, then I think it’s fair. The problem is that everyone focuses on the few who are earning ridiculous amounts.”

Indeed, another agent admitted that he is appalled at some of the money exchanging hands at the top end. “I’m still staggered by this and I work in the industry — if you look at Mino Raiola and (the deal for) Paul Pogba, the amount of money he got paid… that’s not a percentage of anything. It’s because of (fees like that) we’re actually faced with that question and that agents get a bad name.”

Another felt the same way. “If you take away the amounts that people like Mino Raiola earn… just forget about that. When people talk about house prices in England, they don’t talk about the 0.01 per cent of houses in Mayfair that sell for £20 million. They talk about the average house price.”

For those wondering, the average commission that agents charge is around five per cent, although some complain that clubs are paying no more than three per cent now. With a stable of top Premier League players, an agent will earn very good money. But most aren’t that fortunate.

“There are a few tiers,” said one agent. “At the very top, they’re very much overpaid — although they would argue they merely charge the going rate for moving on their players, which I think is valid to an extent. Then, the majority of agents who deal with players outside the “superstar” bracket in the Premier League are paid fairly. But, go lower down the pyramid, and it really isn’t a very lucrative profession being an agent.


15. Should agents be allowed to be paid by more than one party in a deal?

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This subject was brought into the public domain earlier in the week, when Gary Lineker, the Match of the Day host and former England international, said on Twitter that it was time for FIFA to stop agents being paid by more than one party in a transfer deal. According to Lineker — and many football supporters are likely to agree with him — a player’s agent should only be paid by his client and not the buying or selling club as well.

Agents see things rather differently.

“Yes. I will tell you why. There are too many cases where people do it properly and have both parties interests at heart. If you have a League One club keen and the player doesn’t want to earn below £2,500, but you spend weeks convincing a player it is the right opportunity, you are working very hard on both sides. I would not agree with it if you only spoke to the club or only spoke to the player. But if you can convince both it is a good plan, you deserve it.”

“Yes. I have no problem with dual representation (working on behalf of the player and the buying club). In some deals — not all of them — you can quite clearly prove that you are doing all you can for a club to help them acquire the services of a player, as well as doing your best to manage the player’s interests. Therefore, one can justify being paid on behalf of both club and player. This does not mean an agent is paid more or paid twice. It is simply a way of dividing the liability between the two parties concerned.”

“Yes. Dual representation (acting for the club and the player) is sanctioned by the FA, approved by HMRC and it benefits the player in terms of the amount of tax he pays on the agent fee. It also saves the club money compared to how much they’d have to pay if things weren’t structured that way. Some agents act as brokers and are mandated to help clubs get players — this is a commercial business.”

“Yes, definitely, most transfers happen because agents will act as go-betweens for the clubs, and they legitimately act on behalf of the clubs as well as the players. There are two transactions: the player contract and the transfer fee, so it’s normal to work for more than one party a lot of the time.”

Although those comments are reflective of the responses as a whole, there were also a few concerns voiced, such as when an agent becomes too influential at a particular club and, as a result, acts more on one party’s behalf than the other. “That shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” an agent said. “And, ideally, you would have different agents representing different parties.”

“What I don’t think is right is the selling club and the buying club paying the same agent. Certain agents do that and it shouldn’t be allowed,” said another.

One point that a couple of agents made is that if the regulations were changed to prevent agents being paid by both parties, “you’d just negotiate a higher wage or signing-on fee to cover the difference”. So, for example, a League One player would be earning £1,200 a week rather than £1,000 a week.

“People say it’s not transparent,” added the same agent. “But all the deals go through the FA. So it’s not transparent to the public. But that’s not the same thing.”

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23 hours ago, Vesper said:

14. Do you feel agents generally are overpaid, underpaid or paid fairly for their work on transfer deals?

12.png

“How we earn our money is misrepresented in the press. The fans don’t actually understand what we do. We do an awful lot to help our players and support their families. We do everything for them — it’s not just a contract. The perception is that all we’re there for is to take as much money out of the game as possible. No, we’re not. We’re there to help our players. It’s a negotiation and if there’s a deal, we get paid. All this nonsense that we’re killing the industry… players need agents. Clubs use agents to get players too, all the time.

“There are bad agents out there. One told me last year, ‘I’m going to move him (his player) because I’ve got my daughter’s wedding coming up’. In every industry, you’re going to get greed and corruption, but in football, it’s the agents who are all labelled as parasites. The majority of agents are paid fairly for what they do with players and clubs.”

That was a common theme in response to this question — agents feeling aggrieved and fed up because, in their eyes, the actions of a minority gives everyone in their line of work a bad reputation.

“If you take a look at the agency world as a whole, including the guys working in League One, League Two and non-League, then I think it’s fair. The problem is that everyone focuses on the few who are earning ridiculous amounts.”

Indeed, another agent admitted that he is appalled at some of the money exchanging hands at the top end. “I’m still staggered by this and I work in the industry — if you look at Mino Raiola and (the deal for) Paul Pogba, the amount of money he got paid… that’s not a percentage of anything. It’s because of (fees like that) we’re actually faced with that question and that agents get a bad name.”

Another felt the same way. “If you take away the amounts that people like Mino Raiola earn… just forget about that. When people talk about house prices in England, they don’t talk about the 0.01 per cent of houses in Mayfair that sell for £20 million. They talk about the average house price.”

For those wondering, the average commission that agents charge is around five per cent, although some complain that clubs are paying no more than three per cent now. With a stable of top Premier League players, an agent will earn very good money. But most aren’t that fortunate.

“There are a few tiers,” said one agent. “At the very top, they’re very much overpaid — although they would argue they merely charge the going rate for moving on their players, which I think is valid to an extent. Then, the majority of agents who deal with players outside the “superstar” bracket in the Premier League are paid fairly. But, go lower down the pyramid, and it really isn’t a very lucrative profession being an agent.


15. Should agents be allowed to be paid by more than one party in a deal?

13.png

This subject was brought into the public domain earlier in the week, when Gary Lineker, the Match of the Day host and former England international, said on Twitter that it was time for FIFA to stop agents being paid by more than one party in a transfer deal. According to Lineker — and many football supporters are likely to agree with him — a player’s agent should only be paid by his client and not the buying or selling club as well.

Agents see things rather differently.

“Yes. I will tell you why. There are too many cases where people do it properly and have both parties interests at heart. If you have a League One club keen and the player doesn’t want to earn below £2,500, but you spend weeks convincing a player it is the right opportunity, you are working very hard on both sides. I would not agree with it if you only spoke to the club or only spoke to the player. But if you can convince both it is a good plan, you deserve it.”

“Yes. I have no problem with dual representation (working on behalf of the player and the buying club). In some deals — not all of them — you can quite clearly prove that you are doing all you can for a club to help them acquire the services of a player, as well as doing your best to manage the player’s interests. Therefore, one can justify being paid on behalf of both club and player. This does not mean an agent is paid more or paid twice. It is simply a way of dividing the liability between the two parties concerned.”

“Yes. Dual representation (acting for the club and the player) is sanctioned by the FA, approved by HMRC and it benefits the player in terms of the amount of tax he pays on the agent fee. It also saves the club money compared to how much they’d have to pay if things weren’t structured that way. Some agents act as brokers and are mandated to help clubs get players — this is a commercial business.”

“Yes, definitely, most transfers happen because agents will act as go-betweens for the clubs, and they legitimately act on behalf of the clubs as well as the players. There are two transactions: the player contract and the transfer fee, so it’s normal to work for more than one party a lot of the time.”

Although those comments are reflective of the responses as a whole, there were also a few concerns voiced, such as when an agent becomes too influential at a particular club and, as a result, acts more on one party’s behalf than the other. “That shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” an agent said. “And, ideally, you would have different agents representing different parties.”

“What I don’t think is right is the selling club and the buying club paying the same agent. Certain agents do that and it shouldn’t be allowed,” said another.

One point that a couple of agents made is that if the regulations were changed to prevent agents being paid by both parties, “you’d just negotiate a higher wage or signing-on fee to cover the difference”. So, for example, a League One player would be earning £1,200 a week rather than £1,000 a week.

“People say it’s not transparent,” added the same agent. “But all the deals go through the FA. So it’s not transparent to the public. But that’s not the same thing.”

Were only agents allowed to vote in this?

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MASON MOUNT HAS A NEW NICKNAME FOR DECLAN RICE AFTER LAST NIGHT

https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2020/10/12/mason-mount-has-a-new-nickname-for-declan-rice-after-last-night/

mason_mount_of_chelsea_during_the_uefa_champions_league_group_h__1427370-1024x690.jpg

Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has responded to Declan Rice’s post on Instagram following the West Ham United star’s message after the game for England.

West Ham midfielder Rice and Chelsea ace Mount were in action for England in their UEFA Nations League Group A2 game against Belgium at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday evening.

Mount scored what proved to be the winning goal for the Three Lions in the 64th minute, while Rice played well for Gareth Southgate’s side in the middle of the park in their 2-1 victory.

The 21-year-old midfielder played with Rice in the Chelsea youth teams, and he has a new nickname for his England international teammate – “DR7”.

Mount responded: “DR7 ya know!”

Stats

According to WhoScored, for England against Belgium on Sunday evening, Mount took two shots, had a pass accuracy of 77.8%, won one header, took 30 touches, attempted one dribble, and made one tackle.

Rice played one key pass, had a pass accuracy of 95.4%, took 74 touches, and made three interceptions, according to WhoScored.

England are next in action on Wednesday evening when they take on Denmark in UEFA Nations League Group A2.

GettyImages-1227793269.jpg

 

 

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Chelsea sensation Billy Gilmour set for loan move in January transfer window

Chelsea youth sensation Billy Gilmour showed supporters a glimpse of his talent last season under Frank Lampard - before a horror knee injury cut his impressive debut campaign short

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-transfer-news-billy-gilmour-22829736

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18 minutes ago, Vesper said:

Chelsea sensation Billy Gilmour set for loan move in January transfer window

Chelsea youth sensation Billy Gilmour showed supporters a glimpse of his talent last season under Frank Lampard - before a horror knee injury cut his impressive debut campaign short

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-transfer-news-billy-gilmour-22829736

LOL He hasn't even returned and played yet...

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Ziyech and Werner should be up there. Ziyech, is going under the radar but he is going to have people wowing ove rhis quality. Werner will hit off soon too I am sure. The deals we got them for were brilliant piece of business.

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2 hours ago, NikkiCFC said:

Agents do not think any of our new deals is in top 9 in the league.

 

Seriously, who gives a fuck what others think about our transfers? 

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