This site has written a couple of times on the triumph of our transfer policy in comparison to the one across the city, which is based on nothing more than looking at what we’ve done and believing the same can be achieved by putting ludicrous numbers on people’s backs.
But we didn’t get here by presuming to tell the market what players were worth.
We were moderate and careful and played a realistic game. We established trust by showing that our stars could go on and succeed in England and go for ever larger fees.
It took time to grow this reputation. It was expensive too, because there were a lot of failures before we got to the positives. We followed a very specific formula, and we never deviated from it.
We used the time and the space afforded us by being far out in front to take risks with promising young talents, who we then blended into the first team.
That strategy has not been abandoned in this window; you can the evidence of it in the deal for Abada and those for the boys from Sheffield Wednesday. You can see it in Starfelt and Juranovic.
We signed some experience to sit alongside them, but the basic tenants of the policy remain in place. Our club does not lose sight of the big picture, even as there’s an imperative to win this title.
That, and our reputation for finding these gems, should stand us good.
In the last 12 months, we have taken in more than £30 million in fees.
We have spent close to half of that in the task of rebuilding this team.
Crucially, when you look at the players who have gone out, many of them were simply squad filler, nowhere near the first team. Ajer and Frimpong were notable exceptions and it’s the money we got for the big Norwegian that has enabled us to rebuild the squad in the manner that we have.
For the record, I have no issues with a transfer window that is revenue neutral, or even one that leaves us with a cash surplus. No issue with that at all.
If we sell Edouard the chances are high that we will be able to restore the cash on hand advantage we enjoyed before the global health crisis hit.
Those fans who don’t see why our club should be willing to sit on so much money in the bank … I draw your attention to the aforementioned virus. That money is for a rainy day, and it’s been raining for the past 20 months.
If that’s not a sign that having a surplus is a good idea, then I don’t know what is.
There is money still to spend. But it’s only there because we have operated a hugely successful policy over the last few years. To look as if we’re going to emerge from this window stronger than we went into it, with so much needing done, is a minor miracle and a credit to Ange first and foremost, but in point of fact to everyone at the club.
This is how you do a rebuild. From a position of financial strength.
It makes what might have seemed to be impossible something that can be managed. Something that can be achieved.
It’s why we’re still making signings whilst other ponder sales.