Dubai: The 2021/22 football summer transfer window slams shut tomorrow and it is safe to say that it has been absolutely unbelievable. I would go as far as saying this has been the craziest window of all time what with several spectacular and shocking deals taking place between clubs. And with one more day remaining there is bound to be, as ever, a last minute scramble for new signings right up until the clock strikes midnight. It is the most exciting and dramatic day on the calendar in football and as a fan there is nothing quite like hearing the rumours of who your club may be about to sign. After weeks of reports clubs often find themselves scrambling around for players like desperate Christmas Eve shoppers in a petrol station.
The transfer window allows teams to buy, sell and loan players in order to prepare their squads for the season ahead. We have seen legendary stars, promising young talent and a handful of journeymen move for huge amounts of money. And some have moved for nothing at all including one of the greatest players of all time. How can that be? Well, Lionel Messi’s exit from Barcelona which took the world of football by surprise occurred because the Spanish giants simply could not afford to pay his wages. The Catalans had to let him leave on a free transfer as his registration with them had expired. Otherwise, they could have asked for the moon for the little wizard.
We all thought he would stay with them for his entire career, and sure, he has spent 21 years at his one and only club but the 34-year-old wasn’t able to remain at his boyhood team due to financial restraints. There is no doubt that Messi leaving Barca is one of the biggest moments in sporting history. Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain grabbed this incredible once in a lifetime chance and snapped up the brilliant forward for absolutely nothing. It was the steal of the century.
They didn’t stop there – they also brought in Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos, Italy’s Euro 2020 heroic stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma and Liverpool midfielder Wijnaldum – all for free. Indeed, PSG are the winners of the transfer window having concluded some truly incredible business. But there’s a sting in the tail as they could be set to lose French star Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid. The 22-year-old forward has been linked with a move to the Spanish giants for some time now and a 170 million pound deal looks close. Still, PSG are unsurprisingly favourites to win the Champions League – or rather they were – until Man Utd shocked the football world by announcing they had re-signed none other than Cristiano Ronaldo!
With the arrival of the Portuguese superstar, Utd now have a squad that is capable of battling on all fronts and will feel confident of winning either the English Premier League title or the Champions League or maybe even both what with Sancho and Varane also brought in to join the likes of Fernandes, Pogba and Rashford.
Meanwhile rivals Man City have had a somewhat subdued window which is an odd thing to say considering they splurged 100 million on a single player - Jack Grealish from Aston Villa - but they missed out on Harry Kane whom they had been chasing all summer. Just when they thought a deal was done, the Tottenham striker announced he was staying with the Londoners.
City also thought they had Ronaldo in the bag only for Sir Alex Ferguson to, apparently, call up the Old Trafford legend and give him a ticking off! It was enough to persuade him to ditch the blue side of the city and stick with the red half.
Pep Guardiola needs a striker and perhaps a bid will be made for Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland. He could do a fine job at the Etihad and who knows, maybe his dad Alf-Inge, the former City player, can convince him to follow in his footsteps and join the Cityzens. Chelsea showed they mean business with the arrival of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan. The Blues spent 97.5 million pounds on the Belgian forward and they will be hoping he can bang in the goals and get them up there challenging.
With time running out, clubs will be frantically wrapping up last minute deals - or doing their best to hold onto their prized assets. They’ll be breathing a sigh of relief when it is all over – but then with only four months until the January transfer window opens, millions will be spent again as clubs make sure next May is a cause for celebration whether that be winning titles or surviving relegation. Indeed, having a successful window can often mean having a successful season too.