10 Lessons Learned from the Summer Transfer Window

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2013

10 Lessons Learned from the Summer Transfer Window

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    After an expected hectic deadline day, the summer transfer window has officially been slammed shut until January.

    This summer's transfer window was quite the chaotic one with big names switching clubs early in July, late in August and everywhere in between. 

    Within the frenetic two months that the period spanned, we learned plenty of things about clubs and their intentions for this season and the future. 

    Here are 10 of the biggest things we learned from the 2013 summer transfer window. 

The Term "Club-Record Fee" Means Absolutely Nothing

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    We heard countless times all summer that a club had shattered their so-called club-record transfer fee. In a day and age where money seems to grow on trees in the backyards of clubs, the term "club record" cannot be taken seriously. 

    For example, clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have shattered their club-record fees on numerous occasions in the last decade. Some clubs, like Tottenham Hotspur, set a new record within months of the previous occasion.

    With all this "record" business being done throughout Europe, there really is no need to continue using the term past this summer. Because, in most cases, it means very little for very long.

Daniel Levy Should Have Waited One More Day to Sell Gareth Bale

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    The biggest transfer of the summer—and of all time, if we must go there—was Gareth Bale's move from Tottenham to Real Madrid. 

    Even though it took until Monday to be officially announced, the deal for the Welsh winger was completed over the weekend. With Bale already in hand, Los Blancos were able to sell German midfielder Mesut Ozil to Tottenham's biggest rival, Arsenal.

    Spurs chairman Daniel Levy prolonged the deal for Bale as long as he could, but when we look back on this deadline day years from now, Levy's deal-making skills and tactics could be criticized.

    As Real Madrid showed off their prized possession, they were able to sell one of the world's best players to Arsenal, which could alter the landscape of the English Premier League title race. 

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Some of Europe's Biggest Clubs Got Their Shopping Done Early

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    While the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid waited until the final weekend to finish off their shopping sprees, other elite clubs in Europe did their spending early on in the window.

    High-spending Paris Saint-Germain did all of their buying in mid-July by bringing in Edinson Cavani, Lucas Digne and Marquinhos long before their Ligue 1 campaign began. Barcelona did their business even earlier than that as they officially captured Neymar back on June 3.

    Bayern Munich also wrapped up their major signing in July as Thiago Alcantara officially signed up with the German outfit on July 14.

    As such, said players mentioned were able to hit the ground running when their respective league campaigns began.

    For all of the players joining up with clubs on, or around, deadline day, they will have to wait until after the international break ends to acclimate themselves and build up chemistry with their new teammates. 

Napoli Taught Us All a Good Business Lesson

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    With the €64 million they received from the Edinson Cavani transfer, Napoli invested wisely and improved their squad under new manager Rafa Benitez. Napoli were able to lure Gonzalo Higuain away from Real Madrid to replace Cavani for a fee of €40 million.

    After Higuain entered the fray, and goalkeeper Pepe Reina was brought in on loan from Liverpool, the Italian club spent the rest of the money on a plethora of skilled players.

    Former Real Madrid duo Jose Callejon and Raul Albiol joined the club for their venture into the UEFA Champions League, as well as Belgian midfielder Dries Mertens, who traded in the colors of PSV for the ones of Partenopei.

     

No One Will Envy Borussia Dortmund's Kit Man

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    Coming off of their loss in the UEFA Champions League final to Bayern Munich in May, Borussia Dortmund were due to make some tweaks to their squad.

    With Mario Gotze joining Bayern, manager Jurgen Klopp had to find a replacement for him. And he did just that with Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Klopp was also able to bring in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

    With those three surnames now part of the squad, the kit man for Dortmund will have quite the challenge upon him during the first few weeks of the season as he gets used to the transition from "Gotze" and "Reus."

    All joking aside, Dortmund did some excellent business this summer as they look to usurp Bayern in both the Bundesliga and Champions League. 

It Must Be Nice to Be Allied with Chelsea

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    Chelsea's surplus in the midfield has led to the exits of plenty of players in search of first-team action on loan.

    Three of those midfielders, Cristian Cuevas, Lucas Piazon and Gael Kakuta, have found their way to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem. Also joining up with the trio of midfielders in Holland are forward Christian Atsu, who the Blues signed from Porto, and defenders Sam Hutchinson and Patrick van Aanholt.

    With a lineup of potential future Chelsea stars, Vitesse will surely repeat their top-four finish in the Eredivisie from last season.

    So, what did Vitesse have to do to bring those players in from Chelsea? Well, they let 20-year-old Marco van Ginkel join the Blues on a £8 million transfer fee back in July.

Money Coupled with Lax Tax Laws Can Get a Club Plenty of Value

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    When AS Monaco clinched promotion to Ligue 1, there was plenty of speculation going around that they would spend freely this summer and tease players with the lack of tax laws in the principality. 

    The biggest name that Monaco brought in this summer was Radamel Falcao, who joined the club for a reported fee of £50 million. The Guardian also mentions the £60 million that Monaco dealt out to bring in two players from one of Falcao's former clubs, FC Porto. 

    The duo of James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho were signed right around the time when Falcao agreed to move from Atletico Madrid. Other players joining Monaco this summer included Roberto Carvalho, Eric Abidal, Jeremy Toulalan and Sergio Romero.

    Now, if only all that money could buy Claudio Ranieri's club some fans to fill Stade Louis II. 

Arsene Wenger Has a Method to His Madness

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    All summer long, Arsenal supporters saw every other big club in England invest heavily on players like Fernandinho, Roberto Soldado, Jesus Navas and Willian among others. 

    After the Gunners lost their English Premier League opener to Aston Villa at home, the outcry against manager Arsene Wenger and the club's frugal ways was enormous.

    But in the two weeks after the loss at the Emirates, they have advanced to the UEFA Champions League group stage and brought in Ozil.

    With the addition of Ozil, the Gunners now have another playmaker to partner Santi Cazorla in the attack, and the club can make a legitimate claim that they are now title contenders in the EPL once again. 

     

American Clubs Like to Spend as Well

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    The American domestic landscape changed this summer because of one transfer that, in American terms, was monumental. 

    United States national captain Clint Dempsey joined the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer from Tottenham Hotspur for a $9 million transfer fee in early August. Dempsey, would not have had a chance to start at Spurs this season, was awarded a $33 million deal over 3.5 seasons that sent off a ripple effect throughout the rest of the league. 

    Two other American stars, Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez, greatly benefited financially from Dempsey's move.

    Donovan and the Galaxy agreed to a new contract that will see him earn in the vicinity of $4.5 million a year, per Brian Strauss and SI.com. Gonzalez's deal, meanwhile, upgraded him to the league's Designated Player threshold, which ESPN's Marc Stein reported to be in the $1.5 million range over the next three seasons.

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New Signings Will Make the EPL Title Race More Wide Open Than Ever

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    As the transfer window closes, six clubs can make the legitimate claim that they are in it to win it in the Premier League.

    Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool will be the main participants in a title race that could provide even more drama than the 2011-12 season, which was won in the final seconds of the season by City. 

    City did all of their business early on in the window, while their biggest rival, United, secured Marouane Fellaini from Everton during the closing stages of deadline day for a reported £27.5 million.

    Chelsea added to their midfield depth with the additions of Andre Schurrle and Willian (stealing the latter's signature from Tottenham).

    Liverpool flew under the radar for the majority of the window, but they did make plenty of quality deals to improve their squad as they look to return to glory.

    As for Arsenal, they announced their intentions with the addition of Mezut Ozil.

    No matter who finishes on top of the table at the end of the season, one thing is for sure: The chaos that is about to ensue in the EPL will stir up a bevy of emotions in the hearts of the supporters of these six clubs. 

     

    What did you learn from the summer transfer window?

    Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter, @JTansey90.