I’m not the kind of man who’ll put his feet up and settle down to Sky Sports News on Deadline Day, drooling over Jim White’s excruciating entrance and subsequent bullshit.

Nor am I the kind of man who’ll click on a Twitter link that promises to inform me exactly what Manchester United’s starting XI will look like in 2021.

However, it would be churlish to pretend that I’m not an avid – and daily – reader of the BBC Sport Gossip Column, particularly in the lead up to and during a transfer window.

Hopefully that contextualises my relationship with transfers. I’m highly interested, but not highly obsessed.

And so this January has left me feeling blue for other reasons than the norm – namely an extremely boring and uneventful transfer window.

So far, there have been relatively few ‘moves of note’. The highest profile players to make a move are arguably Oscar and Julian Draxler.

Looking at moves into the Premier League, few have encouraged raised eyebrows. Schneiderlin to Everton, Fonte to West Ham and Livermore to West Brom are the only three I can be bothered to type.

It seems that the biggest clubs and the biggest managers just aren’t spending as much in January anymore. Arsene Wenger is a huge critic of the January window and I’m starting to see why.

This window now only seems remotely useful for teams in a relegation dogfight – Tom Carroll and Martin Olsson to Swansea look like two pieces of shrewd business this year, for instance.

And looking back to last season, Sunderland are a great example. The January window was used expertly by Big Sam to recruit what is probably known as the Holy Trinity of 2016 in some corners of the North East.

Alongside Jermain Defoe’s goals, it was the recruitment of Wahbi Khazri, Lamine Kone and Jan Kirchoff that arguably kept the Black Cats in the division (again).

Long gone it seems are the days of big (big) money moves of top (top) players on Deadline Day. Think back to the heady days of 2011 when Liverpool parted with £22.5 million for Luis Suarez.

Or even in more recent times – David Moyes’ desperate luring of Juan Mata to United for £38 million. I don’t even need to remind you of the Fernando Torres/Andy Carroll saga (also in 2011).

Fuck – Villa even forked out £24 million for Darren Bent in 2011. Now I may yet be proved wrong, but I just can’t see anything of that magnitude happening in 2017.

The biggest stories of this window seem to have revolved around players who might well want a move, but can’t seem to get one – think messrs Costa, Payet, Lansbury and Martin.

None of these toys out the pram episodes have been nearly as inspired or utterly deluded as Peter Odemwingie’s 2013 meltdown (yes, that really was four years ago).

And so all that is why I’m feeling a bit empty this January and slowly becoming an advocate of dropping the new year window altogether.

I’ve been left longing for something, anything interesting to happen – preferably another brightly coloured oversized dildo prodding the ear of an over-eager Sky Sports News presenter…

By Conor Shilling

Follow us on Twitter @fourpintslater and listen to our latest podcast here.


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