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Wednesday, 21 December 2016 13:11

The Window of Opportunity

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As anticipated, the Season 10 December Transfer Window opened to much activity with managers across the Network completing pre-agreed deals sending spending in to the hundreds of millions yet again.

For one manager though the window presented an opportunity to rectify the mistakes of a transfer policy that has cost his club millions; that manager is Sunzibad whose penchant for heavily investing in youth has back-fired resulting in a threadbare squad consisting of a handful of talented youngsters who are, through no fault of their own, tasked with the burden of propelling an otherwise modest side. To their credit the side occupies a play-off spot in the Western Division of PEN's second tier however elimination in the quarter-finals of the D1W Cup has only served to highlight the lack of depth and first team quality. Crashing out of the cup was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back - the club was at breaking point; strapped for cash and struggling to field competitive sides most weekends, the focus on youth was unsustainable and the club was haemorrhaging funds which prompted the hierarchy in to showdown talks with their manager.

Despite crisis-talks the board, to the amazement of supporters, sanctioned Sunzi's acquisition of another prospect Max Meyer in yet another blockbuster move. Meyer's arrival was on the proviso that the club would sell prized assets, Angel Correa, Martin Odegaard, Eduardo Vargas and Erik Durm to focus on improving the overall level of the squad, giving particular emphasis to signing two players with positive wage-multiplying factors, something the club had lacked which was practically doubling the wage-bill.

 

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Mad Max - decision to sign Meyer branded 'ludicrous'

Following Meyer's arrival in a deal valued at almost 53M PENce involving Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard, Chilean hitman Eduardo Vargas was next to leave having secured a move to SC Internacional. The club leveraged the arrivals of Stefano Sturaro, Muhamd Besic, Etienne Capoue, Casemiro and Yuto Nagatomo, amongst others, to liquefy further funds which were used to acquire Corentin Jean, Ryan Mason, Sebastian Bassong, and Moi Gomez whilst leaving enough cash in the coffers to explore the option of a second player carrying premium-contract wage status to join Mario Gaspar on the books.

The club's financial status was altogether much healthier and Sunzi now held the cards as regards the sale of Angel Correa - the club was albe to confidently specify it's demands in the knowledge that the clubs future did not hinge on the sale. Correa was eventually sold in a deal verging on 54M PENce which saw Afriye Acquah move in the opposite direction.

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New Correa path - Angel Correa left PEN FC for Marseille in a 54M PENce deal.

Regrettably a wealth of experience was sacrificed as club captain Raul Baena - a member of Sunzi's starter squad - along with team captain Marko Vejinovic and vice-captain Bernardo Espinosa departed for pastures new but The Network, 25 transfers later, was a better side - a much better side - and went into deadline looking to bolster its ranks.

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Deadline day: Cedric Bakambu (above) and Aleksander Dragovic sign.

After toiling in search of a striker Sunzi was greeted by a touch of luck as an unlikely deal for Cedric Bakambu gathered momentum - negotiations went until the 11th hour but the Congolese agreed to sign on fulfilling a life-long ambition to work with Sunzibad. The club concluded the window by managing to beat out stiff competition to secure Aleksander Dragovic who has already cemented his status as an indispensable member of the squad.

Sacrifices and tough decisions were par for the course but opportunity costs! The window is full of opportunity and as the curtain comes down on this window, Sunzi will look through it as an opportunity taken.

Read 593 times Last modified on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 13:28