The January transfer window is a one-month period in which football clubs can buy and/or sell players mid-season, like the summer window at the end of the season. While most deals are made in the summer, January offers clubs another chance to potentially make a couple of deals to further strengthen their respective squads for the remainder of the season. The 2021 January transfer window will soon end on Monday February 1 at approximately 11pm GMT. With the window closing very soon and the Covid-19 pandemic still not under control, clubs from the top leagues in the football world have struggled to make expensive deals. As clubs are looking to strengthen their squads’ mid-season, it is proving to be more difficult in terms of financial and negotiating aspects are concerned. While the transfer deadline day has not been conducted at the time of writing and some more possible signings could be made, there is evidence to suggest that this window will have one of the least amount of money spent comparing from previous years.
The previous January transfer periods had combined spending of 230 million British pounds in 2020, with 180 million in 2019 and an astounding 430 million in 2018 (Deloitte United Kingdom, 2020). Obviously, these astounding transfer fees were conducted in the normal conditions and environment before a global pandemic came about. At the time of writing, the top and most notable signings were mostly loan deals or free transfers. The likes of English footballer Jesse Lingard, transferring from his boyhood club Manchester United F.C. to West Ham United to Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard and Maty Ryan joining Arsenal from Real Madrid and Brighton respectively were all Loan deals. German midfielder Mesut Ozil joining Turkish football club Fenerbahce and Croatian Mario Mandzukic to AC Milan as a free agent were both deals done with zero spent in transfer fees (Molyneux-Carter, 2021). These notable deals, along with many more, suggest that the current economic environment for the top football clubs around the world are under struggle with Covid-19.
Loan deals, for both parties involved, are a great form of transferring a player from one club to another for a short-term contract. There are several benefits for both club and player respectively. For the clubs involved, if one party feels that a player will not have enough minutes on the pitch, either through negative form or other players proving more competition in the respective positions, then a loan deal could benefit. The clubs interested in signing a player on a loan deal will look to respect the short-term contract, whether it be six months to a year or two, and also help the player by giving more minutes or even a starting position. A loan spell to another league, such as the Premier League to the Seria A or Ligue 1, would also allow for the player to grow and develop in a completely different environment. Not only will the new league bring different challenges and styles of football from participating clubs, but the player will have to also adapt to the new cultural environments brought by moving to that country.
In addition, a loan deal, if successful for the player moving by providing goals, assists, or good performances overall, could turn into a permanent contract the following transfer window or at the time of the loan contract expiring. This could impact the club with the loan player in looking to make the player a permanent asset. It can also change the career and benefit the player’s confidence and development. It is most relevant to the younger players who are 24 years of age and younger, as these players have potential and room to grow higher than older players who are reaching their peak. The likes of Edgar Davids to Barcelona in 2004, Carlos Tevez on a two-year loan deal to United, and Romelu Lukaku to both West Brom and Everton, highlight the best of loan deals in recent history and how they have impacted their careers for the better (Umid Dey, 2019). These loan deals also prove that a new environment, new club, new atmosphere entirely, can change the perspective of players and look to spur them towards the right direction to success in this competitive industry.
With all the difficulties and challenges that the current pandemic is bringing to the football industry, clubs are struggling to make signings and deals to strengthen their squads mid-season and also for the upcoming summer window post-season. Evytal Sports Management, however, can lower these difficulties and make the job of finding players and making deals a lot easier for all parties involved. Not only do our services target players from European and South American continents alike, but our insights, expertise, and resources available to us will be beneficial for interested clubs and players. From loan deals to permanent transfers, Evytal promises to provide knowledge in guiding a player and clubs’ paths forward. Our current player and manager profiles, along with our recent transfer deals of previous years, illustrate our services and what we can provide to many more clubs and players in the future. Feel free to contact us if our services interest you!
Written by Marc Ryan Smoorenburg
Market Analyst and Sports Journalist