If you are a football fan, which we expect considering most of our readers will be based in the U.K, you will probably know that today is the day that the transfer window closes. It is the last day for clubs to be able to purchase new players for their teams until the window reopens again in January next year.
It traditionally brings a lot of craziness with clubs either desperate to reinforce their squads or to get some fringe players sent off to other clubs.
It is these last minute deals that have been described to that of poker by one of the most respected football managers in the Premier League. Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger was speaking to reporters when he made that comment after being quizzed on whether he will be bringing in any new faces.
In true Wenger style he declined to comment on any particular names he may be interested in so as to not let other clubs know of his targets.
“We have shown in the last two seasons that, if there are [players to buy], we will do it, the last few days [of the transfer window] are like poker games.”
We can understand exactly what Wenger meant by his comment too. Clubs play it strategically in waiting until the last minutes to make signings as they know they can use time as a real bargaining chip. If a club is looking to desperately offload a player, they will know that if they do not do it now they will have to wait another six months, so usually agree to a lower fee.
Clubs also want to keep their cards very close to their chests too, because if other clubs find out that certain players are available to be transferred, they could nip in and hijack the deal at the last minute to snatch the players.
Wenger himself has been known to make last minute deals with last year just being one example when he landed the highly rated Mesut Ozil last year in a deal worth £42.5 million from the Spanish club Real Madrid.
With Arsenal set to be after a new striker this time around, we do wonder if Wenger will have the true poker skills to once again make a landmark signing that could shape their success this season. The flip side is that he could be outplayed by a number of his fellow managers that pip him to some of the world’s best players.