One of the unheralded bonuses of a World Cup is that it gives football fans and the media something to focus on in the preseason. In non-World Cup/European Championship years, we’re forced to spend the summer listening to tedious will he/won’t he transfer gossip, 95% of which ends up amounting to nothing. Despite the Fabergas-Barcelona story (or more accurately non-story) occasional rearing its head, we’ve pretty much been allowed to focus on actual football. But this Thursday the transfer window opens up again and it won’t be long until we’re reduced to gossiping like schoolgirls.
For the Allsvenskan, this is one of two times in the year where the league gets robbed of its meagre talents. Clubs from the rest of Europe, most notably Holland, will use their inflated wealth to buy up players at will, not unlike Scandinavians buying up alcohol on international ferries.
The first player to get poached has been Elfsborg’s Emir Bajrami, who was bought by FC Twente back in May. Bajrami’s 30 million kronor price tag is the highest for an Allsvenskan player since Ajax forked out 80 million kronor for Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in 2001.
Bajrami’s teammate Denni Avdic is also likely to tread the well-worn path between the Eredivisie and the Allsvenskan. With 12 goals Avdic is the competition’s most productive goal scorer, and like Bajrami he has managed to force himself into the Swedish national team. Other talented young Swedes who are also likely to picked up include Malmö’s Guillermo Molins, Kalmar’s Tobias Eriksson, Häcken’s Tom Söderberg, Trelleborg’s Viktor Noring, and BP’s Miiko Albornoz.
Being the standout team thus far this season, Helsingborg’s squad will no doubt attract some unwanted attention, and they may struggle to hang onto talented youngsters Joel Ekstrand, Rasmus Jönsson and Marcus Nilsson.
As was the case last winter, most of the media attention will be on Gais’ Wanderson do Carmo. This was an ongoing transfer saga last winter too, and it is quite remarkable that he hasn’t bee bought already. Wanderson wants to leave, Gais want to sell him, and there are plenty of clubs who want to buy him…you can’t get conditions more conducive for a transfer. And yet when the winter break passed, nothing had happened apart from a meek last-minute bid by Feyenoord, which quickly collapsed when their cheque bounced.
One would imagine Gais would be looking to finalise a deal quickly this time around, yet the rumour mill has been unusually quiet and I personally wouldn’t put it past the Gais board to once again fail to sell the competition’s most saleable player. If Arsene Wenger wants to keep Fabergas, maybe he should be taking notes.
IFK keeper Kim Christensen, obviously disappointed to have been overlooked for the Danish World Cup squad, has moved to FC Copenhagen in the hope that playing in the capital might help him get noticed by selectors. Örebro’s big target man Kim Olsen has also decided to return to Denmark. AIK’s turbulent season continues with the squad haemorrhaging players. Over the summer the club have lost Miran Burgic, Jorge Ortiz and Martin Mutumba, while Sebastián Eguren returns to Villareal.
All this before the transfer window has even officially opened.