Why do football clubs make transfers?

Published 25.06.2019 00:18

A very simple and straightforward question that most of us have never asked ourselves, why do clubs keep buying and selling players? Common sense may point to an obvious answer: Clubs want to play better so they can buy better players or earn money to invest in playing better in the future. Nevertheless, this answer is even less practical than the classic liberal economists who claim that the market will balance itself if it is left alone. In reality, there is a huge chamber of interest made up of executives, player agents, managers and players, who keep earning more and more. The transfer market resembles the 2008 economic crisis since there is actually no real value in it and some people keep bloating it artificially, like a balloon. Thus, the whole footballing world and especially Turkish football should put an end to the current transfer-mania.

First, do we really need transfers? When one examines the most successful teams in the last decade, it is obvious that the teams who have a clear set of strategies and tactics have prevailed, not the ones who have the highest number of individual talents. For instance, we do not remember Los Galacticos as the most successful team in history. Then, what matters most in football is to create efficient strategies and tactics, rather than finding the most talented players. This also explains why Lionel Messi is so successful with Barcelona but has yet to win a trophy with Argentina, individual talent alone does not suffice. Does Argentina lack individual talent? Messi, Agüero, Di Maria, Dybala, Paredes and Otamendi are players that almost all managers would want in their team. But still, they cannot lead their team to trophies.

This makes it plain that buying and selling players is like shuffling the letters in Scrabble, you may get a word or two, but you cannot find words consistently without building a connection among them. The value of a player is dynamic; there is not a FIFA player statistics card in real life. A player's form and performance are highly dependent on his or her teammate's performance. If you cannot receive passes or find no one to pass to, what good can come out of your fantastic passing skills? Then, the problem is not to find the players who play the best but to create a game style in which players increase their performance mutually.

For this, no one needs to make transfers; the game of football does not require lots of skills to play efficiently. All it takes to play well is to have a good plan about how to carry the ball from point A to point B consistently. To do that, one does not need to have superb skills, if inside of your foot is reliable, you can do almost everything you want on the pitch. Then all you need to do is to carry the ball faster and more accurately, and this is completely achievable by rigorous training. Thus, to play better, teams do not need to buy players, they can easily raise them. Of course, I understand sometimes selling players boosts the growth of a club and a player, but this is a marginal benefit that is certainly not vital. Those who keep claiming that clubs need transfers to compete and criticize clubs when they do not "strengthen" their squad are basically working in favor of shrewd businessmen. Transfers are vital only for people who earn unjust money from football, for the rest, it is completely unnecessary.

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