While the impending World Cup will be a month-long carnival of footballing joy for all the senses (yes, even smell), let’s not forget that back here in the UK, the hard work of shipping players in and out of our clubs will be going on the whole time.
Research has shown that the average supporter* goes into the summer believing that his club only needs 17 new signings in order to thrive when the new season arrives, so it’s a busy time – and here’s a checklist of what we can expect to see.
Why not print it out and tick each one off when it happens? Or even laminate it if you’re some kind of pervert?
(*me, a Sunderland fan)
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) June 2, 2017
1. Bang-average player pulls three above-average World Cup performances out of nowhere. Subsequent bidding war leads to £40m transfer.
2. Player is signed by your club from your brand new manager’s previous club. Fans of said old club feverishly tweet about what a pile of s*** he is and how they’re delighted he’s been binned.
3. Love Island contestant is revealed to have once had a trial for Chelsea – after he emerges from the island (in third place), a League Two club signs him up.
4. Player fails to get his desired big-money transfer move – refuses to attend pre-season training and flounces off to sunny holiday destination, where he heads to nearest theme park and threatens to stay on the most dangerous thrill ride until his demands are met.
5. Nicklas Bendtner is linked with five Premier League clubs, and in a tragic blow to his ego, three Championship ones.
6. Usain Bolt is linked with six Premier League clubs, and in a tragic blow to Nicklas Bendtner’s ego, no Championship ones.
7. Estonian international joins bottom-half Premier League club and claims to have been a massive fan ever since he was a boy… while posing for a photo holding club scarf upside down and citing a legend of the club’s closest rival as his all-time hero.
8. Player gets a move he DIDN’T desire and flounces off to sunny holiday destination, where he heads to nearest theme park and threatens to stay on the most dangerous thrill ride until his demands are met.
9. Harry Redknapp returns to management but resigns just ten days later after he mistakenly buys a player who doesn’t actually exist. He later claims he was told about the player by Sam Allardyce.
10. Player posts an Instagram pic of him setting fire to the shirt of the team he’s just left, while laughing hysterically and doing a little dance. Following the inevitable uproar and outrage, he claims his account was ‘hacked’.
11. West Ham get linked with a whole host of exciting and exotic incoming players, with David Gold seemingly close to confirming a massive deal on at least four occasions. By the end of the window, their biggest signing is Charlie Austin.
12. Marouane Fellaini signs a new five-year contract at Manchester United.
13. On Deadline Day, Jim White coughs up a pound coin, offering no explanation for how or why it has happened.