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Think a medical is a foregone conclusion? Think again. As we’ve seen before, a move isn’t made 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 any underlying infections or conditions may pose a problem now or shortly. Medics will check if players show any signs of anaemia, for example, and look at their kidneys or livers.
- Sugar levels and the thyroid gland
Another critical 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 complete examination of the heart.
4. Doctors will also examine the height, weight, and blood pressure before going through a detailed questionnaire to establish any problems within the player’s family.
Players up to 24 will ideally have annual checks to detect any heart-related issues, which 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 back and lower abdomen strength – to determine if a player has any problems with the quads or hamstrings.
Players will be forced to do several 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 will likely have difficulty fitting their medical in. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to sign.