I know a lot of people in football are opposed to having transfer windows, but I quite like the idea in principal.
Having said that, I would prefer it if they did away with the January transfer window and just had everyone do all of their business in the summer, except in extenuating circumstances. That way, clubs would have to be a lot wiser with their money as they spent it on assembling a squad they had faith in rather than being too impulsive with their signings.
I think the January window makes clubs feel pressured into buying players, and a lot of money goes to waste.
In the summer, there are no serious matches to worry about, and you have plenty of time to put together a transfer policy and make signings for the coming season. In January, you have to do all of that in the space of a few weeks while the games are also coming thick and fast. It causes people to panic and rush into spending.
A good example of that is Andy Carroll joining Liverpool 18 months ago. I find it hard to believe that they had any interest in him prior to Fernando Torres leaving for Chelsea, and then they hastily completed one of the most expensive transfers of all time in a matter of hours.
Had Torres been sold earlier in that window, then Liverpool probably would have gone elsewhere and found much better value. As it turned out, they paid out a £35 million fee that has hung over both the player and the club ever since.
Whenever a player arrives at a new club for a big fee it creates a buzz around the place. That could be a positive or a negative thing. I remember that when Stan Collymore arrived at Liverpool for £8.5m in 1995, there was definitely a feeling in the dressing room that this guy had better be good. That was nothing against the player himself, but the fee he arrived for definitely caused a stir which perhaps didn't help him settle. It might be a similar situation with Carroll now.
Carroll is clearly a very good player who could do well at a number of top clubs in the Premier League, but the Liverpool he signed for was a very different place to the one he finds himself at now. He joined at a very confused time at the club, and though their future now looks more settled it is apparent that he is not part of it. The problem is two-fold: Liverpool don't want to give him away, but they do want to sell him.
The main thing about all of this is the career of Carroll. He is a 23-year-old lad who should be playing every week in the Premier League. If that can't happen at Liverpool then it should be happening somewhere else. It is all well and good saying you want to stay and fight for your place, but it is just as important to know when to move on.
For the sake of his career I hope he gets a move this week to one of the clubs that has shown long-term interest in him, like former club Newcastle or West Ham, and that he is not the subject of another hasty transfer on deadline day in January. After all, the last one didn't work out for him.
- Andy Carroll