The days where £80m would have bought you a shiny Cristiano Ronaldo are gone. Indeed, transfer fees are now simply astronomical, with Neymar costing £200m, while Paul Pogba cost Manchester United a comparatively measly £89m.
Yet, despite prices increasing throughout the entirety of the footballing world, England – and specifically English players – seem to be on another level.
United, last week, launched what looks likely to be a fairly long-lasting transfer saga, seeing a £40m (per Sky Sports) bid for Aaron Wan-Bissaka immediately knocked back. Yet, they are due to make a second bid, with the same outlet reporting Crystal Palace are holding out for closer to £60m.
Now, let’s break that down, shall we? The 21-year-old largely broke into the team last season, having previously made just seven appearances. Obviously, he is yet to make an appearance for England’s senior team and is currently valued at £22m (as per TransferMarkt), so certainly doesn’t boast the same pedigree as the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte, who cost a similar amount in recent seasons.
Making 35 league appearances, registering three assists, scoring no goals and he managed just nine shots all season, creating four big chances and had a crossing accuracy of 21%. Not his role to attack, right? Well, yes and no, we’ve seen how important full-backs are to the biggest teams in the world these days, so you’d perhaps expect more from a player commanding such a fee.
This is where the problems with English football are highlighted. A young and fairly inexperienced player, especially a full-back – despite their importance to the modern game – shouldn’t have the added burden of costing so much. Pogba himself even spoke of the pressure big transfer fees can put on players, after all.
Yet, with Kyle Walker going to City for £53m, it sets a benchmark for full-backs to be compared to. Ben Chilwell is now reportedly going to require a world-record bid for a bid to be accepted, while of-course Crystal Palace are demanding so much for Wan-Bissaka. There is an argument that they add to the number of homegrown players in the squad, but the transfers are somewhat ridiculous.
Where £56m once bought you Kaka, it’s now more likely to land you Wan-Bissaka. It’s been going on for years, but this is just yet another reminder of how mad football has become.
United fans, what do you think? Is £60m unreasonable for a player who has played just one full season? Or is it just essential you improve the squad at all costs? Comment below.
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