Blog#24 – It’s Deadline day, baby!

I don’t know about anyone else, but the thrill of deadline day literally keeps me, and I’m sure a lot of other football fans, awake all night long. These sleepless deadline day’s are due to the roller coaster of anxiety, excitement and, of course, disappointment.

Yes, for some of us deadline day never pans out how we would hope. The reality that your club couldn’t fill the vacant spot in the team, which they really needed to so they could continue being competitive, can be a very depressing thought.

Now I already know what you’re thinking, “Here he goes again. He is going to talk about Sunderland.”. Well you would be right. The club I have been following for it would seem an eternity, (or 8 years), seems to be football’s example of what not to do.

If my memory serves me well enough, almost every transfer deadline day, (that I have witnessed), Sunderland are left scrambling to find and sign a recognized goal scorer for whatever league they’re competing in.

To give some examples, in the Winter of 2013 Sunderland signed striker Danny Graham for £5million from Swansea on deadline day. He stayed with the club for almost 3 years, making 37 appearances, and only scoring one goal… But Danny was not the only signing that had not produced what Sunderland needed during their ‘dark’ periods.

In the Winter of 2018, Lewis Grabben, (our striker and top goal scorer last season), decided to jump the sinking ship and end his loan deal with Sunderland. Then, on deadline day Sunderland signed Ashley Fletcher, who was on loan from rivals Middlesbrough, as his replacement.

Compared to Graham, Fletcher showed a lot of promise; a young, eager striker looking for first team football. Unfortunately, he didn’t exactly hit the ground running, only scoring two goals from 16 appearances in Sunderland’s failed campaign in the Championship.

Again, Sunderland find themselves in the same situation. Our star striker Josh Maja has left the club for a French league side. And we have one recognised senior striker to help us push for promotion back to the championship.

Am I all the emotions I mentioned previously? Yes, yes I am. Will I sleep tonight? Probably not. But that is the cost for becoming an addict of the beautiful, yet extremely frustrating, game which is football.

For those non-football maniacs out there, let me give you a quick breakdown of what the transfer window and deadline day actually are. In professional football, there are two windows where football clubs can buy, sell and loan players. For Europe, and a lot of other leagues around the world, this is usually a three month period before the football season begins, and a one month period in the middle of the season.

The term “deadline day” may make a little more sense now. It is the very last day of the transfer window, and after 11pm, clubs can no longer buy, sell or loan players. It is a very nerve racking time for everyone involved from players, clubs, managers and owners to fans due to a lot of player transfers going down to the last few minutes before the window slams shut.

To give you an idea of the money that is spent purchasing players during this time. In the English Premier League, during the summer transfer window of 2018, the 20 clubs that compete spent £1,256.6million in total… And that is only one league in Europe! The most that was spent on a player was by Chelsea Football Club, who paid £71.6m on then 23 year old Goal keeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.

It would seem that clubs are willing to spend what it takes to sign the player they need. It is an extremely large risk to outlay millions of dollars for someone who could turn out to be a total flop, (thats right, I’m looking at you Jack Rodwell). But it could also mean the difference between a trophy, or relegation.

So let me know in the comments below about your best or worst experiences from transfer deadline day. Who are you hoping your team signs today?

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