July is traditionally the time of year when transfer season moves into top gear, and the rumour machine across the Premier League, Championship and Leagues One and Two starts going into overdrive.
This year, of course, attention has been focused to lands further east and the events in Russia. It is understandable that with so many Premier League players in action for their countries, the usual transfer frenzy among the giants, both in the UK and Europe, has been deferred till later in the month. But this has also resulted in a knock-on effect further down the pecking order.
The big questions up top
The World Cup can be something of a two edged sword, particularly when we see so many topsy turvy results. Japan making the knockouts, Germany falling so early and Russia beating Spain are wonderful for those who enjoy betting on long shots, but have left team bosses with more questions than answers when it comes to how their transfer targets have been affected in terms of market value.
It is not purely down to results – for example, Colombia got as far as reasonably expected, but the overall value of their players has dropped by 15 percent since the start of the World Cup. Meanwhile, Switzerland’s squad has increased in value from £190 million to £225 million, a rise of 18 percent.
The summer waiting game
As the Premier League giants and their European counterparts watch events unfold and plan their coming negotiations accordingly, the rest of the footballing world can only sit and wait. Championship teams are largely inactive on the transfer market due to the impasse above them, and are, for now, holding on to their players. This in turn filters down in the same way to League One and League Two.
Danny Cowley, the boss of League Two side Lincoln City summed it up perfectly while chatting to local reporters during a training session at Riseholme College. He said: “There’d be nothing better for me than being able to sit here today with my full squad. That would be the ideal, but we’re in a League Two club in a World Cup year.”
He went on to say that all he and the other teams can do is wait for the market to start to move in late July.
Whose value has risen in recent weeks?
A handful of players are already mentally counting the money that is likely to come their way after the World Cup is finished and the transfer negotiations start getting serious, and one of them is Russia’s new national hero, Aleksandr Golovin. He was instrumental in Russia’s Cinderella story, and according to no less a source than his mother, there is a £27 million deal waiting for him at Chelsea.
Spanish star Isco might have been upstaged by the home nation hero in the round of 16, but his performance throughout the tournament still made him one of the standout players. Ronaldo attracted all the media attention in the draw with Portugal, but experts agreed that Isco was the biggest talent on display that day, and he also scored a crucial goal in the Morocco game. United were keen to obtain his services, but if the rumours are to be believed, Isco has declined a £160 million move.
It’s not all about the big transfers, though. Take Jesse Lingard for example. Perhaps the most underrated player in the England squad, Lingard has proved his worth during the World Cup, consistently looking England’s most dangerous player. United have realised just how good he is, and his lucrative new contract is exactly what he deserves.