Are long-term deals the new big money transfers in these times of austerity?

With the news today that Phil Jagielka and Ryan Shawcross have committed themselves to their clubs on long-term contracts, I wonder whether tying players to long deals has replaced buying players for huge fees.

Perennially cash-strapped Everton manager David Moyes will be delighted to have secured Phil Jagielka, and Tony Pulis will no doubt be equally happy to have kept hold of Stoke‘s club captain, Ryan Shawcross, but will this transfer window be the first where contract deals out-do cash moves?

I think that the answer is yes.  Any evidence? Well Arsene Wenger is still desperately trying to stick a pen in Theo Walcott’s hand, long enough for him to scribble his name on a contract, and this follows shortly after the Arsenal manager managed to tie up five other players on big contracts; Jack Wilshire and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain et al. 

So unless Manchester City, Chelsea and the ever cash-loose Liverpool (£20 million for Jordan Henderson, £19 million for Stewart Downing and £35 million for out-on-loan Andy Carroll) get involved, I think we will see one of the quietest transfer windows for a long time.  I think many clubs in the Premier League believe that player stability breeds club stability and if you can keep a group of players together for long enough, you might just get something going on.

Obviously hurling a shed-load of money at the problem can yield trophies. For example Manchester City’s title win last season but I don’t think that that is the way forward. Hopefully many Premier League managers will agree with me and baton down the hatches during these cash-strapped times.

Peter Stickney