It’s been a deeply unpleasant last few weeks if you have been a Blues fan. Not necessarily because of the transfer embargo per se, but more because of the lack of communication from the club and the anxiety which that induced among the fanbase.
The EFL statement yesterday evening at least clarifies things, both for us and for Garry Monk and his staff. It’s not what he would have been hoping for but at least he can now plan for the future. He knows that he can bring in five signings, albeit on loan or for free, and the limit on wages will, of course, curtail who we can bring in.
However, it is important to note that the club can now completely ignore the transfer deadline next Thursday. In their agreement back in February, the EFL clubs stipulated that loans and free transfers are allowed up to August 31st, meaning we now have four weeks to bring in the players we need.
This is not ideal as clearly, the manager would have liked to have his full squad in place before the start of the season. With the opening fixture just a day away, we are definitely short in some areas, but at least, this gives Monk something to work with.
We will have to be conscious of the fact that the quality of the signings are unlikely to be to the standard we would be hoping for due to the financial restrictions. However, I am confident that the backroom staff and scouts will have considered this scenario already.
There are a number of talented young players in the Premier League who need game time, and although the options on the free transfer market aren’t particularly great, I trust Monk to make the right decisions here. He is a man with a forensic attention to detail and he’s likely got his eye on some players who despite our lack of funds could still make an important impact for us this season.