The January transfer window opens today for many European football leagues! The transfer windows are our favorite times of the year here at Carty-Free Cappy, since it provides tons of things to talk and write about. Transfer windows are times of infinite possibility, where crazy speculation and solid news meet, mingle, and mutate. There will be much digital ink spilled online about which players are being sold/loaned, which want out of their contracts, and which clubs are interested in making that key midseason move.
Why a midseason transfer window?
I get asked this question a lot in real life by family, friends, and acquaintances who aren't so familiar with football or with European club teams, so it makes sense to briefly address this here. While the idea of trade deadlines are not at all unusual in franchise leagues such as the NBA and the NFL, most American sports fans aren't entirely used to the idea of two open "windows" where you can buy and sell players.
For football clubs in leagues that utilize transfer windows, the midseason window can be crucial. While major moves for game-changing players in January are pretty unusual, it's still a time for clubs to assess, re-tool, and polish. Clubs fighting relegation may decide to double-down and buy, hoping to do enough to stay up. Clubs in the hunt for European qualification or title pushes may just need that extra little oomph to get over the edge or to replace key players who have long-term injuries.
On the flip side, the January window also provides an opportunity for teams to offload, either by sale or loan, players who are out of favor, or who are unhappy with their current club. It's not at all unusual to see loans for young players, or established players who are trying to get out of a bad situation.
What should we expect from Tottenham Hotspur this window?
That's the million-pound question and one we'll continue to talk about throughout the window. While the club as already confirmed that American
left right back DeAndre Yedlin will be joining the club in January, it's not clear what other moves will be happening this month.
Despite its current good run of form, Tottenham does have some personnel needs in that could be addressed in the window. Spurs could probably use another good center back, as the depth drops off pretty precipitously after the starting duo of Jan Vertonghen and Federico Fazio. We've discussed ad nauseum the possibility of Spurs buying another striker to augment (or replace) the trio of Harry Kane, Roberto Soldado, and Emmanuel Adebayor. It also wouldn't surprise me if Spurs take a look at a ball-playing central midfielder to replace Nabil Bentaleb, who is heading off to the African Cup of Nations tournament with Algeria this month.
And of course, let's not discount the (remote) possibility of a surprise quality deal a la Rafael Van der Vaart: Daniel Levy is known as (if you'll pardon the expression) a "wheeler-dealer" and lately Spurs have been known for leaving much of their business to late in the transfer window when last-minute deals can happen right before the deadline.
What about player sales?
Spurs have a large squad which they've effectively used in multiple competitions this far this season, but even so there are players that appear to be surplus to Mauricio Pochettino's requirements. There are several players who may find themselves out the door in January: expensive purchases who haven't lived up to their price tags like Roberto Soldado or Paulinho could be moved on to make room for new signings; players on huge wages or who are near the end of their current contract like Emmanuel Adebayor; or players who don't seem to be in Pochettino's plans like Aaron Lennon, Kyle Naughton, and Etienne Capoue. Any, some, or all of these players could be transitioned out either by sale or by a six-month loan with an option to purchase at the end of the season.
Or absolutely nothing could happen and Spurs will hold serve with their current squad. That could happen too.
You'll be on top of all this, right?
You bet we will! Anyone who's been around this site for an extended period of time will be familiar with transfer rumors, which we love to write and speculate about. Many of these rumors are crap, but some will be factual or have elements of plausibility. Cartilage Free Captain will be bringing back Daniel Levy's Imaginary Shortlist over the next few weeks and we'll discuss which players Tottenham may be looking at purchasing or selling. And of course, we'll be telling you which ones we think are "batcountry" (i.e. crazy, unsubstantiated nonsense).
You can keep track of our January window posts posts by bookmarking our transfer rumor hub, which collects them all in one handy place. We'll do our best to let you know of important transfer-related events and news that impact Tottenham.
It's a great time to be a football writer, and a football fan. The window is now open! LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!