A Long One On Most Expensive Players
With Liverpool having just paid £32.5m for Benteke and him becoming on of their most expensive signings of all tie it got me thinking about the top clubs in England and their most expensive players ever. Who did well? Who did badly? Which top club got the best value from their big money purchases and who did the worst? Without further ado, here we go…(Note: All values taken from the trusty source of Wikipedia)
5. Ander Herrera (£29m): Too early to judge this one. Only made 19 league starts last year but lots of promising signs. How United’s new signings affect his place of performance remains to be seen. Verdict: TBD
4. Rio Ferdinand (£29.3m): Nothing other than ‘outstanding’ would cover it. In his prime, one of the best centre backs in the world. Helped United win countless trophies. Verdict: Huge Success
3. Dimitar Berbatov: (£30.75m): A decent record for United for sure, but you always felt he could have been better. Often brilliant (the hat-trick v Liverpool still haunts me) but often frustrating in equal measure. I don’t think you could say he lived up to his price tag. Verdict: OK
2. Juan Mata: (£37.1m) I would say it’s too early, but then realised it’s been 18 months now. He’s certainly had some good games but for nearly £40m you need more than that. Still has time to be a success, but he’s not there yet. Verdict: Miss (for now)
1. Angel Di Maria (£59.7m) I was gutted when Di Maria signed for United. One of my favourite players to watch at Madrid I was sure he’d propel them up the league. For some reason it hasn’t happened. Rumours abound that he’s on his way out. A shame for a player with the potential to light up the Premier League. Vedict: Huge flop (considering the price tag)
5. Cesc Fabregas (£27m): Terrific player, great first season. Form tailed off towards the end of the season but it would have been impossible to continue the way he started. Any club in the league would love to have him (apart from Arsenal apparently). Verdict: Great signing
4. Andriy Shevchenko (£30.8m): We all know how this went. From one of the most feared strikers in world football to the butt of many jokes. A purchase from the chairman, not the manager. And it showed. Verdict: Huge Miss.
3. Edin Hazard (£32m): Remains to be seen whether he will be worth it. Only joking. Outstanding talent with his best years ahead of him. What would he be worth now? Verdict: Massive hit
2. Diego Costa (£32m): A great first season, although the 1st half was better than the 2nd. Scored plenty of goals, tricky to play against and considering other transfer fees these days, good value. Verdict: Hit
1. Fernando Torres (£50m): Ahem. Similar to Shevchenko, from terrifying to terrible. Seems fitting that his most famous goal from Chelsea (against Barcelona) didn’t even affect the tie. Chelsea didn’t even get any money back for him. Verdict: Might actually be the worst value transfer of all time.
5. Luis Suarez (£22.5m): Scored goals for fun. Nearly won the league for us. Brought the feel-good factor back to Anfield. Sold (sadly) for a huge profit. Every time I see his score for Barcelona I wish he was still in red. Verdict: Massive Hit
4. Adam Lallana: A frustrating first season. With new signings on board (as this website has pointed out) Hard to see how he fits in now. A nice guy but will he cut it at the top level? Verdict: Miss (Unless something changes this year)
3. Robert Firminho: Too early to say. I’ve never seen him play. Nor have most people. Hope he’s good though. Veridict: TBD
2. Christian Benteke: Too early to say. Most people say he’s overpriced, but realistically, who else was there? Time will tell. Verdict: TBD
1. Andy Carroll (£35m): Shudder. A genuinely baffling signing. One where everyone at the time said: “£35m? For Andy Carroll?” Everyone thought he was wildly overpriced and so it proved to be. The only upside is we at least got some money back from him. Verdict: Huge Miss
5. Calum Chambers (£16m): One for the future. Too early to say. Verdict: TBD
4. Santi Carzola (£16.5m): Seems like an absolute steal at that price. A terrific player with a good goalscoring record. Well done Mr Wenger. Verdict: Huge hit
3. Danny Welbeck (£17m): Interesting that only 2 of Arsenal’s big money signings are over £20m. Welbeck is certainly a good player and scored some big goals but could they have done better? Hard to say. Certainly worth the money though. Verdict: Hit
2. Alexis Sanchez (£31.7m): Annoyed be by not coming to Liverpool, annoyed me even more by being bloody brilliant. Well played Mr Sanchez. Verdict: Huge Hit.
1. Mesut Ozil (£42.5m). Similar to Mata in a way that I’m thinking “time well tell” even though he’s been there for 2 seasons. At times excellent, obviously very talented but capable of drifting out of games and being totally anonymous. I distinctly remember the 5-1 v Liverpool when he was nothing short of dreadful. A big season for him I think. Verdict: OK (but with a chance to be great)
So what was the point of this? Well partly because I was bored and thought it would be interesting. What have I learned? Big signings can be surprisingly rubbish. The hit rate is quite low.
Mike, LFC, London
Shove It Up Your Harris
Why do Arsenal’s hierarchy insist on telling everyone how much money they’ve got? What kind of negotiating tactic is that? Now every club we make an offer to is going to slap on another 20/30% to the market value.
Fair enough if the transfer market actually had set prices and club Chairmans treated selling players like a clothes store assistant helping a wealthy customer, asking them what they’re budget was and what they were looking for. However its obviously not like that. Its the ultimate haggling market place.
If you walked into the Grand Bizarre in Istanbul shouting about how much money you’ve got the store owners would treat you like the pigeon you are. They obviously know tourists from certain countries will likely have a lot more money than other countries and locals, but they don’t know exactly how much you have.
That’s why you don’t tell them. Tell them you’ve got money to spend and are interested in their product so they don’t think youre a time waster but don’t tell then you’ve got money coming out your arse as theyll obviously bump up theyre prices.
It makes we wonder how he became so successful in the Carpet industry. Did he use the same technique when buying from suppliers, telling them all that his company could buy any carpet they wanted.
Then I read he’s a Tory donor and realised his success probably wasn’t based on talent.
Limit The Loan Age
On the subject of stockpiling players, how about an age limit on loans?
I’m only 30 but remember loans used to be utilised for young players to get experience in the lower leagues (eg. Beckham at Preston, Rio at Bournemouth, Lamps at Swansea to name a few).
We’re now seeing full internationals being loaned (Falcao!) whilst Chelsea must have about 15 players out of loan, a good number I’d guess are over 20 in age…
Just a thought
Tony, West Ham
Well Done Birkirkara
I would just like to send this e-mail in to congratulate our local team, Birkirkara F.C who yesterday lost 5-4 on Penalites (1-1 aggregate score) against West Ham United.
I am proud of our Maltese gladiators who almost made it through to the group stages of the Europa League for the first time in our Football History. It is a pity that they were eliminated on penalties but by far gave the better performance overall. West Ham did not even register one shot on target (!!!)
Well done to the team and to all those who made it down to the National Stadium to cheer them on. We beat a Premier League team over 90 minutes! Still can’t believe it
Mundane Ireland Meeting (These Are The Last)
If we’re still publishing mails on chance meetings with professional footballers, I’ll share.
I was in Philadelphia for a wedding last year while the Irish National Team was in town, I found this out while eating downtown and seeing a group of guys with matching green polo shirts walk by.
Not wanting to run after them I stayed on the lookout for stragglers and did in fact see James McClean, Shane Duffy and David Meyler a couple minutes later. Duffy was notably shy, and absolutely massive, and fortunately I was able to resist making a stupid joke about the Pardew incident to Meyler.
I wish now too that I would have said something encouraging re: McClean’s poppy stance.
Matias – Austin, TX, USA – Borussia Mönchengladbach
Mundane Claridge (Patridge?) Meeting
I once saw Steve Claridge at Gweek seal sanctuary in Cornwall.
Chris (His car was right messy) HIF CUFC
Mundane Quinn Meeting
I recently met Niall Quinn in my local. After enjoying a couple of pints myself I trotted up to Quinn and told him I had recently read his book.
He asked me did I want my money back before we chatted about Merson, Adams and Quinn’s own disco pants. Thoroughly nice chap.
Knows his way around a pint of Guinness too.
Dave, (other beers are available). BAC
Mundane Adebayor Story
I once walked past Emmanuel Adebayor, at Heathrow T5 during the January transfer window.
I excitedly texted my Spurs supporting mates with my excellent ITK news, before seconds later remembering it was the African Cup of Nations and he was probably just going to play in that.
He is quite tall.
Mundane Carragher Meeting
My friend and I were coming out of Sainsbury’s in Crosby a good 8 or 9 years ago. We bumped into Jamie Carragher out shopping with his two kids. I had no idea what to say to him, so I asked him “Did you play yesterday?”
He said “Yes” and walked away.
Paul M, LFC
Mundane Sir Bobby Story
I met Sir Bobby Robson at King’s Cross Station in November 2004. He was in the WH Smiths looking suspiciously at the long queue. I said:
“Sir Bobby, I’m a huge fan, can I just shake your hand?”
He replied: ” Course you can, son!” Then, after the most heart-warming handshake you can imagine, he points at the queue and says, “I’ve got a train to catch in 10 minutes, what’re the chances of me getting through that in time?”
I patted him on the shoulder and said, “The thing is, they’ve got loads of servers so you’ll fly through Sir Bobby!” And then off he went.
In hindsight, I had loads of time so wish I told him to get on his train while I paid for his paper…
Anyway, I will always cherish this moment.
Mundane Bent Story
I went to see Drake at Finsbury Park a few weeks ago and stood about a yard in front of me was Darren Bent who was stood with all of his mates, after telling my pals it was Darren Bent we all had a little giggle and this led to my mate shouting ‘Darren! Darren!’ Who then proceeded to look around bashfully which then led to me and my mates shouting ‘Up the Villa!’ (We were drunk.)
He seemed like he was enjoying Drake and I was going to ask him for a photo (not got any sort of memorabillia from a player since I was 10 when Paul Peschisolido signed the sleeve of my jumper when he was playing for Sheffield United) but he then had to move away cause a lady was trying to dance with him but she had to get through his entourage first.
Why do you need an entourage when you have just signed for Derby County?!
Mundane Martin Story
A couple of years ago, one summer, some work mates and I went over to a local park to play football after work. Jumpers for goal posts, nothing serious.
A group of 5 lads approached us for a game and we agreed. There were about 9 of us so we offered to even the teams up by giving a couple of our lads over. They declined and said they were happy to just play against us, so 9 of us vs 5 of them.
Naturally we thought they were fairly arrogant to think we’d not hammer them with our superior numbers but just got on with it and started to play. We couldn’t get anywhere near them and they slaughtered us. A couple of lads on my team were getting really wound up at the embarrassment of getting battered by a team with 4 less players than us.
This was until we realised after about 10 minutes one of their number was Russell Martin of Norwich City and Scotland, and 4 of his also really good mates. A mate of ours was even wearing a Norwich shirt and hadn’t recognised him.
Anyway, after about 20 minutes they clearly got bored of the lack of sport involved, thanked us for the game and left again. We consoled ourselves by agreeing that we never had a chance against a premier league footballer and congratulated ourselves at keeping the score down to single figures.
I did however save a shot of Martin’s that I tipped over the ‘bar’ for a corner. The truth is though it was hit at me so hard and fast I barely saw it coming and simply covered my face with my hands. Twas a fantastic save Jeff.
Mundane Liverpool Meeting
I was at Cream in the mid or late 90s once and Dominic Matteo was in there. We were both just hanging about awkwardly at the edge of the dancefloor in the main room. I had been to the game that day and Liverpool lost.
I said to Dominic Matteo, “bad result today”, and he said, “yeah it was”. Then we both walked off in different directions. I can’t remember who the game was against, but I do remember him drinking a bottle of lager.
On another night out in town we walked past McManaman and Fowler and said “alright lads” and they said “alright” back.
Kieron, Liverpool, Red
Erm, Well Done?
Eating my crisps at lunch today whilst reading the Gerrard / Messi article, I suddenly realised that despite being right handed I eat my crisps using my left hand.
Tried using my right hand and I could barely direct the crisp to my mouth. Never realised that before. Still can’t use both feet though.