John Brooks shows Deadline Day isn't for everyone

BY Kyle McCarthy • February 1, 2016

Deadline Day calls out like a Siren. It is a frenetic dash of buying and selling across the continent, though January often fizzles out with modest fanfare. The chaotic endeavor generates bonuses and contracts for players, fees for agents and spending money for clubs. The winter is often a bit quieter than the summer, but the lure of a hastily arranged move still cries out.

United States defender John Brooks ignored it to commit his future to Hertha Berlin on Sunday. Brooks rejected reported overtures from Schalke 04 to reach an agreement with Hertha on Saturday and sign a new deal through 2019 on Sunday.

Brooks flouted Deadline Day convention by just about every measure. He eschewed the possibility of a signing bonus and a vastly improved contract. He spurned the advances of larger club to stay with his current one. He landed a new contract for his troubles, but the fresh terms represented a modest fraction of the possible riches offered by Schalke as part of a transfer.

Instead of leaping at a tempting opportunity for instant gain, Brooks assessed the wider picture instead. He grasped the importance of stability after finally breaking into the Hertha first team for an extended period and submitting a series of consistent performances. He knew his comparatively modest club harbored genuine Champions League ambitions after a successful first half of the Bundesliga campaign. He understood the importance of his connection to his hometown club and the role it played in his development.

All of those factors underpinned Brooks' decision to stay in Berlin. It is a decision likely to benefit the 23-year-old central defender (he still needs games to address his lingering flaws and polish his evident qualities), Hertha Berlin (a club unlikely to find a player of a similar caliber and promise in this window) and the U.S. national team (a side in need of competition in central defense) in the short- and medium-term. Only Schalke (a club in search of cover for the injured Benedikt Höwedes) came out a loser in this debate.

This sort of thinking -- the prudent sort required in time-sensitive situations -- is often difficult to locate as the window closes. Managers and players across Europe plan to weigh their options over the next few hours. Brooks likely stands to benefit by allowing someone else to heed those seductive noises this time around.



share