Stan Collymore's Lessons from the Transfer Window

Stan CollymoreFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2014

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

We saw some huge deals to the Premier League this summer, with high-profile stars swapping life abroad to come and play in the world's richest league.

Here are five lessons we've learned about England's top flight in the window.

 

1. Big attraction

The arrivals of Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Alexis Sanchez, Mario Balotelli and Co. illustrate that Premier League finances are pulling the biggest players back.

We've seen Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale depart England for Spain and lots of talk of La Liga being the best in the world, but this window has shown the Premier League still has a huge draw. It could be a sign of things to come.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30:  Angel Di Maria of Manchester United shows his emotions during the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on August 30, 2014 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Imag
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Bringing in players of that calibre can only be a good thing, when they complement the homegrown talent and add entertainment value. Paying £200,000 or £300,000 a week for players like Falcao and Di Maria is worth every penny.

The Premier League is only going to get bigger and richer. One day we'll see the world's top 10 players all in England, and it's not unthinkable that somebody like Lionel Messi could land in the Premier League.

 

2. Financial trap

Fabio Borini allegedly wanted £90,000 a week to go to QPR or Sunderland, per James Olley of the London Evening Standard. When you start getting second-tier players like that asking for big money, there's a danger of financial implosion at the smaller clubs.

Top clubs can afford big wages on big players, but when you spend that kind of money on somebody like Borini, you're heading down a slippery slope.

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 07:  Fabio Borini of Sunderland celebrates as he scores their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion at Stadium of Light on May 7, 2014 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The danger is falling apart like Portsmouth—or Leeds United. Leeds reached a Champions League semi-final in 2001, but they overstretched themselves, and 13 years later we find them in the Championship.

 

3. Homegrown balance is important

I spoke to Gary Neville about Manchester United's transfer activity last night. He said he's not worried about Falcao, Di Maria and Co. coming in, provided there's still a good balance of homegrown players around the first team.

If it goes too far the other way, however, with eight or nine imports making up the majority of the side, then Neville says you have a problem.

That being said, we must remember football happens in cycles. The United generation of Paul Scholes, the Nevilles, David Beckham, etc. were a rare crop. We shouldn't expect every generation to provide a group like that.

 

4. Make the right career choice

Second-string players like Borini, Jack Rodwell, Wilfried Zaha and Scott Sinclair all moved to big clubs, hoping to make an impression.

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Jack Rodwell of Sunderland celebrates scoring his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at Stadium of Light on August 24, 2014 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Michael Re
Michael Regan/Getty Images

As time passed, however, all have realised they are better off taking a step down to get themselves regular football. I'd advise young players to think long and hard before joining clubs like Manchester City, United or Liverpool. If you're not playing regularly, you're not developing.

 

5. Chelsea's business gives them title edge

I said from the start, the title race would come down to Chelsea and Manchester City. 

My worry for City is they've not made the tweaks Chelsea have this summer. Jose Mourinho has done some extremely smart business, and I just think the freshness there will give them the edge.

A lot comes down to motivation. Chelsea have new players who are hungry for success and will add to the momentum. They've looked hungrier than City so far.

 

Former Liverpool and England striker Stan Collymore is in his second season as a Bleacher Report contributor.