“Huddersfield’s hunt for a striker may come to an end with former Gillingham hitman Simeon Jackson likely to join the club by the weekend. Having been released by Norwich, Jackson is looking to re-establish himself at a Championship side, and Mark Robins may well be able to offer the Canadian International first team football at the Terriers”
If you read the statement above, it looks almost believable, doesn’t it? Almost as if it was pulled from a news agency, or written by somebody who knew something about the transfer. Except it wasn’t. I just made it up. Its balderdash and piffle and yet, strangely, looks not unfamiliar in the context of the current transfer window.
“Huddersfield’s hunt for a striker may come to an end with Mexican international Carlos Vela set to join the club. After a successful loan spell in Spain, Vela is unwilling to return to Arsenal, but having once collected a pair of Beats by Dr Dre headphones he’d bought on e-Bay from the Calder Valley area and described it as ‘not as bad as I thought it would be’, it seems probable that he’d be willing to drop down a division and play for a club who would offer him about ¼ of the wages he’d earn for sitting not even on the bench at Arsenal”
Changing the details around slightly gives a possible story a ludicrous feel, but neither one is more rooted in the truth than the other.
So what point am I trying to make?
The situation at Huddersfield is not unique. Juventus, in the January window, were in that self-same scenario (they ended up signing Llorente on a free this summer). Dortmund are about to be in it. If you need a specific kind of player, and it is known that there are funds available for him, the rumour mill grinds into a hitherto unseen gear.
Names are dragged in from everywhere and for all sorts of reasons. This player worked with the manager before. This player used to live nearby and wants to bring his kids up in the area. This player is on such-and-such a wage, so would be happy to X his pay packet.
If the regular transfer window is the silly season, then this ‘filling of a poisition’ aspect is ‘stupid season’. I am confident Huddersfield Town will sign a striker, and probably more than one. I am confident Borussia Dortmund will sign a striker. I have no idea who any of those will be, and even beginning to speculate would be foolish.
Read the rumours, enjoy the rumours, even look at some of the players mentioned because if they’re mentioned as going to one club, there’s a fair possibility they’ll end up moving to another. But don’t take them as gospel, for crying out loud. Don’t think that because one report says one player is joining and another says another either one is any more accurate than a shot in the dark. Clubs who need players will be contacting other clubs all the time asking things. Not just because they’re interested, but because they know that doing so will help throw off the scent of the players they are interested in.
If you need to buy, you want to buy at the best possible price. To achieve that, you need to achieve relative secrecy with the club you’re buying from. If you’re willing to sell, you want the best possible price, so you’ll go for the exact opposite; you’ll make up interest so people are tricked into thinking you have a hotter property than you do on your hands.
As such, the players that will go in to fill the gaps will probably be part of the wild speculation, because the needs are so widely known. But to believe anything before the players are stood in the stadium with the scarves above their head is naïve.
Enjoy the transfer window folks, but don’t be fooled by it.