The theme of this summer’s transfer market has been to spend near £20million for the Premier League’s top talents whether they are really worth that or not.
Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson have made the move to Liverpool for that amount whilst Everton reportedly value defender Phil Jagielka at the same amount to keep Arsenal at bay. There is no doubt that all enjoyed impressive seasons but one of the star performers of last year was Wigan Athletic‘s Charles N’Zogbia.
N’Zogbia has been subject to intense speculation and now looks to be close to a move to Aston Villa. Both clubs have reportedly agreed a fee for the player but that fee is thought to be only £9.5million. With £20million being thrown around with so much ease, shouldn’t Wigan be holding out for a bigger fee for their best player?
Unfortunately for Wigan fans N’Zogbia’s exit looks to be almost inevitable. He has played a massive role for Wigan over the last few seasons, especially last year when his form and goals helped them stay in the Premier League by the narrowest of margins.
He scored a total of ten goals in all competitions last season and made eight assists (making him top of both Wigan’s scoring and assisting charts). A move to Villa would be a step up for the winger but as Wigan look set to lose their talisman, why are they not asking for more money from a team obviously very keen on his signature and with transfer funds to spend?
Villa had a £9million bid rejected but seem to now have been successful with a slightly improved offer of £9.5million. But Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has previously stated that he would not accept any less than £10million for N’Zogbia and that a number of clubs are “desperate” to sign him. The willingness to invest by the Liverpool owners may have added a couple of million onto the deals for Henderson and Downing but if both are worth £20million, there is no doubt that Wigan are losing out in selling N’Zogbia for less than half that amount.
N’Zogbia was one of the most effective wingers in the Premier League last season, willing to take players on and score crucial goals in Wigan’s survival campaign. Putting a price tag on a player’s head has been increasingly difficult in this inflated transfer market but if Wigan are keen to get a direct replacement for N’Zogbia then they should look to hold out for more money.
But maybe Wigan are just playing it safe in selling N’Zogbia for under £10million? He only has a year left on his contract when Wigan would then face the threat of losing him for free. For a small team £9.5million would also go a reasonable way in the transfer market. Wigan unfortunately also don’t have the bargaining power of the bigger clubs and if they did hold out for a bigger sum then they risk other teams losing interest in a deal and N’Zogbia himself becoming unhappy at the DW Stadium.
N’Zogbia’s time at Wigan and the transfer speculation surrounding him may soon be coming to an end as a deal with Villa looks close. Wigan will make a profit on a player who joined the club two years ago but the loss of their star player to Villa, who will pay only half of what they received for Downing, means this deal is definitely better business for Villa than it is Wigan.