Just like people tend to believe that the country they live in is better than most, we tend to overestimate the relative strength of our own league, and so overlook transfer targets who could improve our squad. There’s a reason why players bought from strong clubs tend to be more successful at their new club. […]
If there’s an off-field parallel to the penalty shootout, it’s the month of January. The arrival of the transfer window coupled with contract renewals and sometimes decisions about the manager’s future make it a month of high-pressure choices, much like the choices our players must make after the 120th minute.
A curious thing happens when a player hits 30. Ten of the most expensive signings ever made have been of players aged 28 or 29, but only one player in this subset was bought after his 30th birthday - the 31-year-old Gabriel Batistuta in 2000. This is a severe drop-off, no doubt influenced by the fact that it is much easier to convince ourselves of the value of a deal when a key characteristic falls just below a significant number.