The current FA WSL/Championship transfer window is the most unusual one we have had for many years.
This is due to the latest FA changes to women’s football with all FA WSL teams required to go fully professional on paper.
For the first time in the FA WSL’s history, player power is at its peak as the supply and demand trend has been reversed.
This new state of affairs is happening in conjunction with the arrival of football agents to the market, making it easier for players to organise a move nowadays.
It is an unusual situation because there are three teams on the market that need to fill up their squad, in addition to the traditional movements you would expect in a transfer window.
West Ham are trying to build a team to be competitive in the FA WSL and have not retained many players who were on their books in the third tier.
Brighton have been promoted from the second tier and have retained the core of their squad but need some additions to be able to avoid relegation.
Manchester United are building a squad from scratch and therefore need about 20 players of good quality , despite playing in the Championship. Because they will have a professional team in the second tier and are such a big brand, they are actually on par, if not in a better position, than those two FA WSL teams.
So, we are talking about 40 to 45 players that are needed just for those three teams.
The last three proper transfer windows saw a total of 39, 50 and 48 moves overall.
Because there is a finite number of top quality players available on the domestic market, those three teams are likely to compete with each other for the same players.
Of course, it is also a multi-layered transfer window. The top teams are chasing international and world-class players, plus youngsters with high potential, as they have Champions League ambitions.
After all, they both reached the Champions League semi-finals last year and will try to win it this season.
The chasing pack are looking at quality international and domestic players, plus players with potential that could help them make the jump from the chasing pack to the Champions League places.
And then come the three teams who need to fill up their squad with enough quality to be competitive. They are chasing domestic players who are good enough for the FA WSL or with good potential, as well as international players that are not at the top end of the market. Unless they have a special brand, where they can sell the dream of playing for a side like Manchester United.
All of this means that free agents and quality players who want a move have a lot of power, more than usual as there are many doors open to them.
In a normal transfer window, a good player would probably have one or two teams interested. In this window, it is likely to ve double or treble that number.
It also means players and their agents can probably negotiate better salaries and conditions, if they are not too greedy. We often hear of clubs complaining that players have unrealistic expectations for wages in the FA WSL and the Championship.
Considering the precarious and fragile state of many clubs finances, some players and their agent are really shooting way too high.
There are still eight weeks to go before the transfer window closes, so plenty of time for the clubs to complete their squad. But we may see some last-gasp “panic” signings towards the end of the window, especially if players who had given a verbal agreement for a move decide against it in the end, as it seems to be happening at the moment.