David Hannant: Transfer business shows City top brass have put season behind them - now let’s all do the same
PUBLISHED: 19:00 29 July 2020
JASON DAWSON ©Jason Dawson
As this is my final column of the 2019/20 season it would be remiss of me not to give some final thoughts on it.
Here goes: it was bad.
Now we’ve got that unpleasantness over and done with we can all start to look ahead to the next campaign.
Of course, 12 months ago we all hoped we would be looking ahead to another Premier League season, but it just was not to be.
Of course, there is always the danger of a hangover, which applies to us fans too. Of course, it was disappointing how the season ended and, of course, we are all hurting – particularly given the way the farcical restart went.
And it is for this reason that getting the ball rolling on transfer business early is so important, and why it is so welcome.
As a rule, the unveiling of a new signing creates a little bit of excitement, albeit always with a few naysayers.
The fact that at the time of writing we already know City’s squad will have some nine new faces in it is a good an indication of the fact those at the top of the club are well and truly focused on putting the season behind us – and we should all do the same.
So much has been said in the past year about the lack of business done in the past summer window, although I personally will confess that at the time I had no problem with it.
It is so easy to say with hindsight that we got it wrong, but on the face of it the recruitment looked fairly good.
We had brought in a keeper of real pedigree to compete with Tim Krul, an international striker and a highly-rated winger tipped for future glory, without spending a single transfer fee.
Had we paid the market value of the three aforementioned at the time, it probably would have been edging somewhere towards the £20m-£30m mark. Would the outcome have been different? We know with hindsight that it would not, but at least it would have killed off that tiresome narrative of City not having spent enough being why they went down.
That’s the thing with transfers, you never really know with hindsight whether recruitment has gone well or not.
At the time, I know I felt that the business had been shrewd – it looked to have plugged gaps in the squad, improved it and done so without making any unnecessary gambles with stupid fees.
The transfer business City are getting done now definitely has a different feel, but at the same time looks really exciting.
Not every player that has come through the door will immediately improve the starting XI, I think it’s fair to say - and I can’t confess to know a great deal about any of the players really.
However, certainly the attacking arrivals of Danel Sinani and Przemyslaw Placheta have the same exciting feel to them that the arrival of Emi Buendia two summers ago did.
Of course, it is important that we don’t build these players up too much in our expectations and immediately heap pressure on them – but they certainly sound exciting prospects.
The fact that the transfer vehicle has well and truly got into motion, from the moment our fate was sealed, bodes well.
Stuart Webber has always insisted that City had plans in place for every possible outcome of the season and the way he has sprung into action with these new signings shows that this was not just hot air.
And it is exactly what needed to happen after what turned into one of the most wretched seasons in recent and not so recent memory – proof we are moving on.
Certainly, transfers coming inwards is far better for morale than outwards and I’m sure that would follow, but in terms of restoring faith, bringing players in before inevitable departures definitely bodes well.
I wouldn’t want to predict which players will be heading towards the exit, although it has been blindingly obvious throughout the season which ones have the most active agents.
The strange thing is though, if you were a scout for a big club, would you genuinely take anybody on the back of their performances since the restart?
You would have thought these players would have been playing out of their socks to get their moves, if in fact they want to seek pastures new.
There is, though, really no point in dwelling on how the season ended, and fresh blood will go a long way to making the recovery we need to make.
Stuart Webber and Co have, no doubt, put the season behind them and are clearly being proactive in making a fresh start.
This is exactly what we as fans also need to do as well – so let’s start counting down to a different kind of restart. OTBC.