A Crisis in the Transfer Window: 110 Million Pound Move
With just a few more weeks till the start of the season, soccer fans and critics alike are eagerly waiting to see the current build up of their squads. While there is an incredible amount of excitement surrounding the transfer window, I, like many critics, commentators, and even managers (such as Arsene Winger) am propelled to speak openly about how absurd the market become, especially with big level club teams.
For years, we have seen the ever-growing trend where specific teams are drawing more star attraction, not because of the fan base or the history, but because of the financial power they are able to leverage. Yes, it is no surprise that better players want to play for better clubs. Not only do they have a stronger fan base, but also they have the immense amount of resources and high quality training facilities that make the appeal that much greater. But when financial spending becomes more of the headline news, that is when this becomes a problem.
In professional soccer, transfers happen often. The act of moving players between clubs and leagues is something of a fantasy for both fans and critics alike. But as great as it is to see the build up of your own personal fantasy squad, the playing field across clubs and leagues is clearly unfair. For years we have seen this where the Spanish Giants, Real Madrid, have dominated the transfer market since 2001 with incredible signings such as Zinedine Zidane for 46 million Euros from Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo for 80 million Euros from Manchester United, and Gareth Bale for 100 million pounds from Tottenham Hotspurs. While those three names clearly provided the talent as well as the accolades for the team, I have to wonder if spending an entire club’s salary for the lower leagues is fair in the world of soccer.
Unless you have been living under a rock, the French talisman, Paul Pogba, has dominated this summer’s transfer window with the 120 million pound offer from Manchester United. Within a short time, Pogba’s rise has been a bit of a fairy tale. Since his leave from the Old Trafford youth academy to Juventus, everything seemed to have gone according to plan. Each and every year, Pogba became a critical figure to the Italian giant’s squad. This was, of course, amplified with his phenomenal performance in the 2016 Summer Euros, even with the loss in the finals to Portugal. But as fantastic as he is, can we really say he is worth that amount money?
In my opinion, it is hard to justify spending over a hundred million pounds on a single player. For Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, and Gareth Bale, I can understand clubs will pay that amount. But in the grand scheme of things, it is simply too much of an investment. For Pogba, the amount of quality you are getting, while great, is still into question. Unlike the dominate orchestra that Xabi Alonso and Paul Scholes provided for their teams, Pogba still has a long way to go.
For now we will just have to wait and see. Hopefully he can be the man that can truly bring ‘glory’ back to the Manchester United name.