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Think a medical is a foregone conclusion? Think again. As we’ve seen before, a move isn’t done until a player has passed a club’s rigorous check-up with flying colours. But what really happens during a player’s medical? Here is the roughly four hours’ worth of steps that football clubs generally follow.
- The blood test
Doctors look up hundreds of variables to check if there are any underlying infections or any conditions that may pose a problem now or in the near future. Medics will check if players show any signs of anaemia, for example, and look at what their kidneys or livers are like.
- Sugar levels, and the thyroid gland
Another key component is to check the sugar levels. It’s inspected before a urine sample is taken to find if there are any abnormalities.
3. The heart
Another test clubs will run early doors is a thorough and full examination of the heart.
4. Doctors will also examine the height and weight as well as the blood pressure before going through a detailed questionnaire to establish any problems within the player’s family.
Players up to the age of 24 will ideally have annual checks to detect any heart-related issues and this is now fairly standard practice after past tragedies.
Besides, cardio is a huge part of the modern game as fitness levels are pushed to the limit by ever-increasing hikes in intensity and player safety is paramount. Medics look at musculoskeletal stability – the strength of the back and lower abdomen – to determine if a player will have any problems with the quads or hamstrings.
Players will be forced to do a number of squats, hop tests and lunges as they show the assessors that these regions are strong enough for a 50-game plus season. Whether they have a backbone for the mental fight is a separate issue.
If a player flies in to complete a move with just hours left until the transfer deadline, they are likely to have a hard time fitting their medical in. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to sign.