Sunday 24 September 2017 / 06:00 AM

CLOSE THE WINDOW, THEN START THE SEASON

The transfer window has slammed shut, as it always does twice a year.

And like most seasons these days, this year’s window was responsible for a record amount of transfer business getting done – the Premier League spent £1.175 billion during the close season; the first time that spending has ever gone beyond a billion.

But I don’t want to talk about the money today. (Although perhaps I should, because the money is getting truly ludicrous)

Instead, I want to talk about the truly absurd timing of the window, and the fact that despite everyone agreeing that the timing is absurd, it still continues, year after year.

In my view, the transfer window should finish a week before the season starts, end of story.

No ‘loan deals’ a week after the normal window closes.

No ‘different window for Spain’.

Just a straightforward deadline for every single club.

And I simply don’t understand why it doesn’t happen.

A huge amount of business got done on deadline day, with a lot of players changing clubs, and clearly some of these moves have been in the offing for some time – Danny Drinkwater to Chelsea being a clear example.

So how do you think Leicester have been affected by the fact that Drinkwater was still at the club despite clearly wanting to leave?

Without questioning Drinkwater’s professionalism, it seems unlikely that the midfielder’s heart would truly have been in it – why would it if he knew he was moving on?

And yet, with the season starting before the window closing, clubs have very little choice but to play players who want out.

The other option, which Liverpool have used this summer, is not to play the player at all, but how is that any better? It just means that their expensive assets are not being utilised.

Right now, clubs have two choices:

Either they play a player whose heart is not in it, or they don’t play the player and field a weakened team as a result.

Not much of a choice, is it?

Here’s the alternative: close the window, then start the season. It’s as simple as that.

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About the author

Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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