Are the mega-money transfers of Paul Pogba and John Stones really worth the fuss, questions WADE PRETORIUS.
Paul Pogba is now the most expensive footballer in the world after Manchester United paid Juventus a whopping £89-million to bring him back to Old Trafford.
By now, there is little that fans don’t know about Pogba. Four years ago, the precious French midfielder left United for the Serie A in a deal worth just £1.5m. Since then, Pogba has won numerous league titles, some individual awards and has worked his way into the elite band of players vying for the title of the world’s best midfielders.
His transfer fee and wages of £290 000 per week have fans around the world slamming United for overspending on a player not yet world class. The same observers have laughed at the fact that the Red Devils have paid so much to bring a player back after he left ‘on the cheap’.
Is Pogba worth £89m? To answer that question, how about trying to justify Gonzalo Higuain’s £75.3m transfer fee?
Is the new question then, is Pogba really worth £14m more than Higuain? I would hesitate to argue that neutral fans might then change their tune about the ridiculous size of Pogba’s fee. It’s all relative anyway …
What about John Stones being bought by Manchester City for £47.5m? Yes, the very same John Stones that has been harshly criticised, on more than a handful of occasions, for failing to do his primary job, defending, in recent months.
Both Manchester United and their rivals have been forced to pay over the top because of the current football climate where English clubs are forced to pay a premium due to their commercial strength. Both Manchester club will be aware that they paid for potential as much as the player right now and both are in financial positions to do so, so what is the problem?
Fans of United will be no poorer as individuals due to the sizable amount of pounds flowing out of the club’s bank account, albeit in instalments as all transfers are structured these days. Simply put, it’s not fans’ money that is on the line for the transfers; it is the clubs and Manchester United will be able to balance the books and then some despite forking out a world-record fee for Pogba. The same goes for City.
All fans really want and all that really matters are trophies. Jump off your high horse for a minute and ask yourself if you are pleased with your club’s transfer dealings? Have your beloved side added enough quality to challenge for the title? Fans in red and light blue will be waking up today, happier than they were this time last week.
Can the same be said for Arsenal’s Gooners? What about the ever increasing number of Spurs fans cropping up around the country, will they be pleased about the lack of arrivals at White Hart Lane in the summer?
The next time the topic of overspending comes up, and it will, why not take a second to consider whether your side has been improved because it’s not your money after all…