Wednesday, June 8, 2011

After Quiet Start, The Transfer Window Begins To Hot Up

Any season that can see two of England's most successful club splash a combined thirty-seven million pounds on two unproven youngsters surely deserves the prefix "silly."

Yes, after a few weeks of virtual silence, the summer transfer window is shifting into full flow, bringing with it the wealth of surprises that traditionally accompany this bizarre time of year.

I cannot see how a club that has boasted midfielder like Dalglish, Gerrard and Alonso could possibly lower themselves so much so as to spend twenty million pounds on the totally inept Jordan Henderson. With only six goals in two and a bit years in England's top flight, Henderson lacks the goal scoring capabilities to compete at the top level, not to mention the fact that he failed when given what remains his only chance for the national team. Playing in England's 2-1 loss to the French earlier this year, Henderson looked out of his depth in a midfield that included Gareth Barry, some achievement that.

However stupid, the signing of Henderson does prevent Liverpool from signing a cheaper yet just as mediocre player, Blackpool's Charlie Adam. Available at eight million pounds, some Liverpool would have preferred for the Reds' to have signed Adam on the cheap, as opposed to splashing out ridiculous sums on a player that has yet to fully convince at the highest level.

Liverpool were not the only team to dip their toe into the transfer pool though, champions Manchester United were also active today, agreeing a fee for Blackburn defender Phil Jones. From what I have seen of Jones thus far, he looks robust, a solid, aggressive center half, versatile enough to play in midfield as well as in central defense. On social networking site Twitter, Wayne Rooney described him as one of the toughest players he has ever played against, I'll leave it up to you to judge whether that is genuine praise or just an effort to further encourage a future teammate.

At seventeen million pounds, Jones is just as overpriced as Henderson, though I have been more impressed by the Blackburn man than I have been by the future Liverpool player. After the defensive injury crisis which effectively lost United the league title in 09/10, Sir Alex has made it a habit to stockpile defenders; Chris Smalling was signed last year, and Jones is likely to join him as a reserve option for Vidic and Ferdinand. Fergie certainly can't be blamed for trying to reinforce the defense, Wes Brown and John O'Shea are both likely to be offloaded to Sunderland, and Rio Ferdinand is notoriously injury prone.

As a United fan, I find the deal for Jones slightly frustrating, not because I don't rate him as a player, but because I worry about the valuable funds that signing him will exhaust. Ferguson has already made it clear that he intends to sign three players this transfer window, obviously, Jones will be one of them and it looks as though De Gea and Young will be the other two. If United's spending stops there, then that gap in attacking midfield (widened by Scholes' retirement) will continue to be apparent, the men United should be concentrating on buying are ones like Modric or Sneijder.

Whatever the results of the Premier League's latest big money moves, the transfer window has been well and truly bashed open, the first domino has been pushed, and I for one am ready for the spending to begin.

How do you think Jones will do at United?
Is Henderson worth twenty million quid?

Read more by "The Chairman," David Yaffe-Bellany @ Red Flag Flying High and EPL Talk

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