Player Power - Deals That Got Away 2017
It seems like Premier League clubs finally took a stand against 'player power' this transfer window and that makes for a very interesting 2017/18 campaign.
Another record breaking summer saw net spend in the Premier League hit £665million and overall spending was well over the billion pound mark and I remember being shocked when the total football spend in a year, let alone a window, finally broke that record.
Seems like it's just a taste of more to come with stupidity and overvaluing players (for their own and agents benefit) now being the norm and there will be those out there who think it's great for the game and it shows just how far the industry has come...but it's still 22 players kicking a football around and as much as it means everything - it actually means nothing.
Arguably the game is 'less' than it's ever been before with money being the only driver, super ego's based on the fact they feel they are important rather than the fact they are just simply privileged to be in such a position where the only requirement is be fit and get more things right than you do wrong with a redesigned pig's bladder.
Oh of course they have to put up with crowd abuse and people shouting nasty things and pointing fingers but maybe it's my age now, Nurses suffer worse on a Friday through Saturday night - difference is they don't feel entitled and they're not on £25plus grand a week and it's got to be said, in my experience, there are a number of Nurses out there who definitely have better ball control than some so called professionals in football.
Anyway with a mini rant given my disgust with the working man's game that I fell in love with all those years ago, maybe this summer has seen clubs finally fight back and remind some of these overpaid prima dona's that when you sign a contract in good faith - honour it.
Whilst this window still saw a number of big money moves happen, a hell of a lot of the press went on deals for players that simply did not happen and whilst the media love that as it fills column inches, and in the modern age serves as clickbait on the internet, there are a few players who now need to swallow their pride, put their mighty sword back in their tiny panties and at least try and make a fist of the next few months until the January window opens - where they will again inevitably look to their bank balance believing they deserve an extra zero on it.
From Southampton's Virgil van Dijk who didn't seem to realise he was an ambitious player until he was injured, through to Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez who maintains he had agreement to leave with the club owner after their Premier League success but that's a moot point as Leicester maintain there was no acceptable offer made ahead of deadline day and no offers at all on the final day of the window for him.
We have Liverpool apologising for their interest in van Dijk and then being on the other side of the coin when it came to Philippe Coutinho and Barcelona's interest, as having maintained he was 'not for sale' Barcelona have claimed they were holding out for £183million and that's a claim that they say is 'absolutely false'.
Everton and Chelsea were wrapped up in it as well when it came to Ross Barkley, as he apparently changed his mind on a move mid medical - claims of a medical have been denied by the player but it was funny watching Jim White on Sky Sports as he tried to get a handle on what was going on, especially as they had Everton's majority shareholder Farhad Mohsiri confirming a deal was in place.
But there's even greater stupidity because I have to mention Chelsea's Diego Costa who from reports seems to think he might be able to sue his employers because he won't meet his contract by at least returning to them and training. Apparently he's the one suffering because they won't grant him the move he wants?
The writers of the West Wing, Newsroom and many other incredibly intelligent television programmes would throw some of these real life plotlines out the window thinking they are too stupid to become reality.
Sky Sports came up with their own list of the best failed transfers for this summer and I don't entirely agree with their list but they certainly include a number of deals that are worth thinking about.