Tuesday 20 March 2018 / 11:15 PM


I’ve mentioned this before, but this period of the summer is one of my favourites.

On the face of it, it makes very little sense.

I’m a massive football fan, and I crave football.

So why would I enjoy this period, where there’s precious little football to watch?

It’s simple really: I love the transfer market.

I love the rumours, I love the gossip, I love the huge bids, the players refusing to play, or their agents releasing coded messages in the press.

And over the years, after studying the transfer market closely, I’ve noticed something.

It’s not a ‘bombshell’, it’s not a surprise. In fact, it’s really obvious.

The clubs that get their business done early doors, are the most likely clubs to have successful seasons.

The clubs that let the whole transfer thing drag down to the wire are usually underprepared and have slower starts.

And when we turn this fact to the current transfer window, it’s very clear which of the title chasers has done the best business so far: Manchester City.

It’s only June 13th, the window has only been open since the beginning of the month, and yet City have already spent €90 million, on two key players in problem positions for them.

One of them is the highly rated Ederson, brought in following Claudio Bravo’s calamitous first season.

Guardiola has identified the importance of having a goalkeeper who can play in his system, and Bravo was supposed to be that player. Except he wasn’t. He was several levels lower. City have backed their manager to bring the right man in, and they’ve spent big to do so.

The second player is Bernardo Silva, the winger from Monaco, who will bring some much needed width to a Guardiola side who need to use the entire pitch to act out his footballing philosophy.

Both players are done, both will join in with pre-season training, both will be well bedded in by the time August rolls around and the season gets underway.

In contrast, Chelsea have brought in…no one.

Liverpool have brought in…a youth striker from Chelsea who is unlikely to make a dent in the first team this year.

Manchester United have brought in…no one.

Tottenham Hotspur have brought in…no one.

While the other title chasers have been letting the grass grow under their feet, Guardiola has been busy, shaping the team that he thinks will give him the best chance of winning the Premier League and delivering the European success his bosses crave.

It might be that the other big clubs will make moves soon, but the later they leave it, the less time their managers will have to be able to shape their squads and prepare their players in the best way possible.

City are doing it right, and they’re an example to follow.

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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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