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Make Your Case: Was It A Good Or Bad Transfer Window?

Gav and Karl go head-to-head in Make Your Case this week arguing whether or not we can consider the transfer window this summer a good or bad one. Who do you agree with? Vote in the poll below the article.

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Gav - Good Window!

Look, I'm not trying to sugar coat things - losing Younes Kaboul, not signing Yann M'Vila and not signing a striker were bitter blows, and getting over them will be tough - nothing a win against Everton won't fix, but tough nonetheless.

That said, I feel we had a decent transfer window all things considered and I suppose that injuries to current players has made this entire period feel much worse than it probably should have done.

As annoying as it has been playing the opening four games without Jan Kirchhoff, he'll be back in the squad after the international break and that gives us a huge boost. Our midfield has looked threadbare but, come the Everton game, we'll look much stronger than we have previous.

The players that we have signed are fairly competent - Adnan Januzaj is here to prove himself and in the few games that we have seen him, he's shown that he has undoubted class. He'll be an asset and I'm positive that he's an improvement on the wingers that we've seen go out of the door - Jeremain Lens and Will Buckley to name just two.

Didier Ndong is not a player that I can profess to be an expert on but David Moyes confirmed that he's been chasing him for some time and we have to trust the manager and the chairman on this one - they clearly see something in him and have broken our transfer fee record in order to bring him to the club. He's a player that excites me.

Javier Manquillo was man of the match in his first game and he'll be an upgrade on Yedlin and Jones from last season, whilst at the back we've brought in younger more athletic centre halves in Jason Denayer - a player that comes very highly rated from Celtic supporters - and Papy Djilobodji, a man that has shown his quality in our opening games. I have no doubt he'll get better, too.

Lets not forget about the amount of dross we've let go either. The club needed to get people off the wage bill that weren't contributing and we've done that with just about every fringe player we had last season.

The frantic nature of Deadline Day had us all sucked in and we all felt gutted that the club didn't opt to bring in Yann M'Vila, but we have since learned that it was with good reason. Despite the supporters putting pressure on the club to sign him, Rubin Kazan were demanding a ridiculous amount of money to let him go and on reflection I am glad that we stood firm and didn't give in. He's ours in January anyhow.

The biggest worry coming out of the transfer window was that we hadn't signed a striker to provide backup for Jermain Defoe, but having seen the club linked since Deadline Day to a string of free agents that could give us able cover in that position I am not massively worried. Nicklas Bendtner is a decent player and if we signed him I'd feel relaxed about the situation.

So yes, lets get some perspective. We still need a backup goalkeeper and striker, but both of those roles can still be filled providing we take full advantage of the free agent market. We got rid of lots of squad filler, we managed to ride the Lamine Kone storm and came out of the other end unscathed, and we appear to have coped fairly well with having our entire transfer strategy and scouting plan torn up due to matters out of our own hands resulting in England illegally poaching our manager.

Now that the panic is over, we can re-focus on the football, getting players back fit and winning games.

Karl - Bad Window!

There were good aspects of our transfer window – there’s no doubt about that. But what you can’t deny is that ending the transfer window with Jermain Defoe as your only established, senior striker is total madness. We’re taking a huge risk.

We all know how important to the team that Defoe is. I don’t want to say that he single-handedly kept us up last season, because that would be unfair and untrue, but his fifteen league goals represented a phenomenal achievement, and you have to ponder where we would be now were it not for those goals.

And while we’ve taken just one point from our first three games this season, Defoe has bagged two goals: one, a trademark run and finish, and the other, an unsaveable penalty that he won himself.

So you have to ask why we failed to bring in adequate backup, a question that is even more pertinent now that Fabio Borini has been confirmed to be out for at least three months.

If Defoe falls to injury himself, then who is going to score the goals to keep us in games? Besides Borini and Defoe himself, our next top scorers last season were Patrick van Aanholt and Steven Fletcher (with four), and Jeremain Lens and Duncan Watmore (with three). Two of those have now departed the club, one plays at full back, and the other is still learning his trade and is often erratic with the ball at his feet.

That leaves us with 17-year-old Joel Asoro as Defoe’s deputy. While he enjoyed a promising pre-season campaign and is highly regarded at the club, it’s asking a lot of a 17-year-old to lead the line for a Premier League club more likely to be fighting at the wrong end of the table.

Of course, we can dip into the free agent market and sign a backup striker. But just look at who we can get. Nicklas Bendtner, who has scored just nine goals since leaving Sunderland in 2012 and was branded a "menace" before being released by Wolfsburg. Emmanuel Adebayor, who struggled for games and goals in an ill-fated spell at Crystal Palace. And Victor Anichebe, who has scored just 37 career goals. It’s not a great player pool to pick from at all.

The news that Yann M’Vila would not be joining the club in the window was also a disappointment. While the Frenchman struggled over the Christmas and New Year periods, he was one of the best performers last season and put in some inspired performances, particularly in the run in. The fans love him, he seems to love the club, but it just didn’t happen, leaving us feeling a bit despondent.

Both the fans and the club know that M’Vila is a class act who adds a different dimension to our midfield, and while we’re not lacking in numbers – when Lee Cattermole and Jan Kirchhoff return at least – signing him would have provided us with that instant quality, relieving the pressure on Didier Ndong to make an immediate impact and allowing Lynden Gooch to receive playing time in a more familiar attacking position.

Lastly, by letting Jeremain Lens leave on loan and failing to adequately replace him, we’ve weakened our attacking options. I doubt that anyone shed a tear when Lens left – he’s largely been a disappointment in his time at the club. But he started the season half-decently and was involved in goals in both of his league appearances, totalling just 67 minutes. Letting him leave wouldn’t have been an issue had we replaced him – but we didn’t. We’re now dependant on youngsters, for the most part, to step up and help to create for Defoe.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in ‘meltdown’ mode. Like I said, we did some good things during this window, but the squad is looking disproportionate in the respect that our defence and midfield looks relatively strong, while our attacking options are undoubtedly weak. I can’t consider the transfer window a success when we’ve left ourselves one injury away from disaster.

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