With what basically amounts to a third of the year to undertake transfer business, the close of the summer window on Thursday in the UAE should not match the frantic scenes often witnessed in the English
There will be notable exceptions, of course. Ittihad Kalba are flying in ex-Al Ahli and Al Shabab forward Ciel as they desperately bid to end their interminable cycle of promotion and relegation, while even at the Arabian Gulf League’s summit coach Zlatko Dalic will hold slender hopes his threadbare Al Ain squad – bound for next month’s 2016 AFC Champions League final – will be bolstered.
In truth, the real pertinence to the imminent closure is the fact it robs floundering sides of both an easy excuse and a lazy remedy.
The preceding weeks have witnessed an unsightly panic, with Emirates Club, Hatta and Dibba Al Fujairah all shamelessly reacting to their struggles by dumping foreign players only snapped up in the preceding months.
Now coaches and their boards have to stand alone. In-house solutions must be found.
Bani Yas are an obvious starting point after a woeful beginning to 2016/17. The Abu Dhabi-outfit have claimed just one point from three games, despite possessing in Pablo Repetto a coach who led unfancied Ecuadorian minnows Independiente del Valle to defeat in the 2016 Copa Libertadores final.
The sales of defensive stalwart Mohammed Jaber to champions Al Ahli and key midfielder Fawaz Awana to Al Nasr provides some mitigation. But a way forward has to be crafted if rumours of boardroom discontent aren’t to strengthen.
After being given a pasting by leaders Al Shabab last time out, the visit of Hatta to Bani Yas Stadium provides both potential salvation or the worry of a terminal result. The Tornado themselves are knitting together a squad.
Freshly-installed coach Gjoko Hadzievski won on debut against fellow new boys Kalba, while he will hope Australia centre-back Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Brazilian winger Rafael Bastos make a similarly-decisive first impression.
Equally, this last-gasp switching up of the foreign quartet could highlight inadequacies in the leadership of a club experiencing top-flight football in the professional era for the first time.
Indeed, the fact Jordan wide man Yaseen Al Bakhit excellently set-up the winner against Kalba last time out and tormented the UAE during June’s King’s Cup has made his likely mothballing befuddling.
Other examples could be plucked out, but Nasr have emerged as the biggest culprits for such disjointed thinking.
Bringing in Brazil-born striker Wanderley on what turned out to be a “forged or falsified” Indonesian passport was bad enough.
But to then wait more than a month from his banning by the AFC to belatedly recruit Iraq forward Mohannad Abdulraheem has caused a promising season – which once promised progression to the ACL semi-finals – to slide into a tailspin.
The formulation of coherent, long-term strategies should not be the exception. That is the real issue at play on transfer deadline day.
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