Transfer window medicals

Transfer window medicals

A deal's been done, subject to a medical...

These are the words we hear throughout the Premier League transfer window, when clubs have just a few weeks to buy and sell players to fine-tune their team. The fees have been agreed and the personal terms have been sorted. Now it's time for the final hurdle in negotiations - a player's medical examination. But what do these medicals actually involve?

I spent the day at the FA's National Football Centre - St. George's Park - to find out. I was told to bring my gym kit so I could try out some of the hi-tech equipment used on Premier League players.

Dr Charlotte Cowie has been in charge of the medical teams at Tottenham and Fulham and is now based at St George's Park, where all English teams have the option of sending their players to be assessed. On my visit to their state-of-the-art medical facilities, she informs me her team never really "pass" or "fail" a player.

''One man's fail is another man's pass. It really depends on where the player is injury-wise, what the manager and the club want from that player and what it's going to cost. It's a risk-benefit analysis."

Transfer window medicals

I find Steve Kemp, a physiotherapist for the England team, in the St. George's Park human performance lab. He straps me in to their isokinetics machine. This allows him to test and compare the strength and imbalances of contracting muscles to assess performance and injury risk.

The machine brings back a frustrating memory for Steve. Working with a Premier League team, he once dealt with a player (he won't say who) on the machine who went out to make a phone call, "and they never came back. Another club's phoned with a better offer and they've disappeared - these things happen unfortunately".''

Visit the BBC website for the full article

You can listen to Sonali's report for Radio 4's Today programme on their website until Monday 8 December 2014