The transfer window may be shut but, in football, the transfers never really stop. Scouts continue to identify new targets, sporting directors continue to analyse potential additions and managers continue to call for reinforcements.
All of this work goes unseen for much of the year but, come the transfer window, it has a huge bearing on a club’s success or failure.
Those who have been diligent will reap the rewards with surprise signings, bargains, unknowns and talented prospects. Those who have not will be left to pay a substantial price, quite literally.
The summer of 2017 showcased what can be done when work is done in advance.
Manchester City were one of the major winners, signing up Bernardo Silva early for £45million. The fee was significant, but, considering the player is 23, played for the French champions, impressed in the Champions League and was widely regarded as one of the most talented youngsters in Europe, the money was well spent.
In Italy, Juventus wisely swooped to seal Blaise Matuidi’s signature for £18million. The dynamic Frenchman had been linked to the Italian giants for some time and, having bided their time, they eventually got their man for a steal of a fee following Paris Saint-Germain’s extravagant summer spending.
Next year, clubs will try to follow in the footsteps of the aforementioned success stories. But who could they target?
Watch our video below to see potential bargains of the 2018 summer transfer window.