In today's links, there's a focus on the best ways for clubs to maximize their spending power during the transfer window. We also get at least one more chance to laugh at Stephen Ireland, take a look at Villa's 25-man squad, and laugh in the proverbial face of a Real Madrid coach that is lying through his teeth.
Ted Knutson takes a look at Everton's decision to take Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku on loan for the season and compares it to Aston Villa's transfer window approach. Spoiler alert: you should be quite happy with his findings.
Along similar lines, the BBC takes a look at what they feel are eight of the best deals found in the summer window, with one of Paul Lambert's moves among them. In addition to generally well-argued blurbs about each of the signings on the list, there's some deeper analysis of transfer window economics from Chris Anderson, a pioneer of statistical research in football and author of the Numbers Game, and one of his findings ran very much counter to my own (prior) belief about the value of English players.
Not too many surprises here, but worth looking at all the same. Of the players told they were free to find a new club over the summer that didn't leave during the transfer window only Alan Hutton has been omitted, which should tell you a whole lot about the way Paul Lambert feels about him. Andras Stieber appears to be the only player that no longer qualifies as a U21 that made the leap to the first team squad, while all players holding the U21 designation are eligible to be named to the matchday squad without being part of the 25-man roster.
Also worth noting: the minimum number of players that must qualify as "home grown" is 8. Villa's roster contains 14.