Following Thursday's announcement that Premier League clubs have agreed to close the summer transfer window on the eve of the 2018/19 season, we take a look at how that decision might have impacted on the summer transfer window that closed last week.
Needing a two-thirds majority, or 14 clubs, to shut the window early, the idea's backers just got the votes they needed, with Crystal Palace, Manchester City, Manchester United, Swansea City and Watford opposed, while Burnley abstained.
This means clubs will not be allowed to register any new players after 5pm on Thursday, August 9, 2018, although they will be able to sell players to clubs in leagues where the window is still open, as is currently the case.
In fact, the chairmen of City, United and Swansea voted against the move despite their managers publicly revealing their support for closing the window before the season-opener.
Some of those clubs, from the outside, may seem a little odd. Manchester United have in the past two summer transfer windows concluded their big deals early, while if the law had been introduced for the start of this season, Swansea's squad would, potentially, still contain playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson, striker Fernando Llorente be without midfielder Renato Sanches, who signed on a season-long loan from Bayern Munich, and Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Bony.
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Arsenal would have kept Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out of the clutches of Liverpool, with suggestions from some quarters that the England midfielder had been "tapped up" by the Anfield club prior to last month's 4-0 mauling at Anfield, in which Oxlade-Chamberlain started before being substituted, a gripe aired by several clubs who attended Thursday's meeting.
West Bromwich Albion would have failed in their audacious swoop for Gregorz Krychowiak and would have been denied the chance to solve their problematic left-back slot with the capture of Kieran Gibbs from Arsenal. Danny Drinkwater would have been unable to join Chelsea hours before the deadline on August 31 from Leicester City along with Davide Zappacosta from Torino.
Stoke City would have missed out on another rogue signing - Spanish striker Jese from PSG - and Tottenham Hotspur would not have bolstered their squad with Llorente and Ivory Coast right-back Serge Aurier and Mamadou Sakho's switch to Crystal Palace would not have been sanctioned.
The benefits are obvious: managers having settled squads without fear of losing a player to a rival team or having their heads "turned" by overtures from other clubs. The flip side to that is of course clubs will have to be much more proactive, possibly pay even more inflated prices with a smaller window to conclude deals and, for players who harbour dreams of a move elsewhere, less time to find new employers.
Whether you agree with the decision or not, at least Premier League managers will begin the 2018/19 campaign knowing the exact make-up of their squad up until the window opens again in January 2019.
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