Spurs have already embarrassed Man Utd by making ‘the signing of the summer’ in media-friendly James Maddison. Liverpool spent less on a World Cup winner.
‘James Maddison transfer a snip for Tottenham after Man Utd lay out more for Mason Mount’ is a weird headline in the Daily Mirror, considering Spurs have spent £40m on a three-cap international midfielder who has played 19 games in European competition and just been relegated, while Man Utd have spent £55m to sign a former Champions League winner and European Championship finalist who has scored more times for England than Maddison has played for them, buying him from a direct Premier League rival.
You can clearly compare, contrast and frame perceptions of these two completely different transfers in any which way that suits. And Andy Dunn wants to tell us that getting Maddison for £40m ‘is a modern-day snip’ and ‘the signing of the summer’.
Why? Well Maddison is ‘a bit of a scallywag, a bit of a lad, a lovable rogue’ and ‘a maverick talent’. Oh, and ‘a truly gifted footballer’, if that sort of thing is your bag. But most importantly (to a newspaper journalist) ‘he gave one of the best interviews of the tournament’ when speaking before the World Cup – in which he played no minutes to Mount’s 186.
There truly is no greater mark of a brilliant footballer than their willingness to talk candidly to the media.
Sod Aston Villa getting Youri Tielemans for free, Brentford signing the Bundesliga’s best keeper for £11m, Brighton bringing Mahmoud Dahoud in for nothing and Liverpool getting a World Cup winner for between £35m and £55m, because Spurs have spent £40m on an English player who does interviews.
Mount is more than two years younger, far more experienced at an elite level and more tactically versatile. But ‘the price for Mount could end up being £20million more than it was for Maddison’.
It will if those £5m in add-ons come into play, which BBC Sport, Goal.com and the Manchester Evening News have reported to be linked to Mount winning the Premier League or Champions League ‘multiple’ times while at Man Utd. In which case they probably won’t mind spending £60m on a player crucial to such success.
It should also be noted that there are add-ons in the Maddison deal which would take it to £45m. So really, the worst-case scenario for Spurs is that Mount ends up costing £20m more.
But no, Maddison is £40m and Mount is £60m because of the golden transfer rule: good signing means you pick the smallest number; bad signing means you pick the biggest.
1 – Since the start of the 2019-20 campaign, Mason Mount leads all Chelsea players for…
Shots on Target
Chances Created in Open Play
Big Chances Created
Touches in the Opp Box
Passes/Crosses Into the Box
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 30, 2023
Mount the defence
Andy Dillon of The Sun has his finger on the Chelsea pulse:
The sale of Mount will be hard to take for Blues fans, who regard him as the jewel in the crown of their renowned crop of homegrown talent.
Let’s just say that’s hardly a unanimous opinion across the Chelsea fanbase. Not that a West Ham fan should be expected to know.
Credit to the Liverpool Echo for grabbing the last few possible clicks out of the Mount situation with this headline:
‘Mason Mount talks reopened as Newcastle pull plug on deal for £68m Liverpool ‘target”
Massive shame about the character count meaning they couldn’t get the words ‘with Man Utd’ in there after ‘Mason Mount talks reopened’. Really frustrating that they had to imply Liverpool were back in for him.
Shirty get down
There is obviously a ‘dream shirt number’ article in the Manchester Evening News, which explains how Mount could get ‘his favourite No.19′ if Raphael Varane, the current occupier, takes the departing Phil Jones’ No.4.
And hell, Mount has only ever worn the No.19 with the Chelsea first team, as well as during his time on loan with Vitesse and often on England duty. Varane also often wears the No.4. They can have this one.
But the Daily Express website are absolutely not alright crowbarring Mason Greenwood – a current… popular search topic – into the conversation.
Man Utd duo Mason Greenwood and Raphael Varane could do Mason Mount a huge favour
Greenwood giving Mount ‘the illustrious No.11 shirt’ is a scenario conjured from absolutely nowhere, specifically to get a controversial player about whom people understandably want the latest updates involved in a headline.
Mount could even apparently ‘enquire about’ the ‘availability’ of the vacant No.7 shirt, because transfer speak is awfully difficult to deviate from at the best of times.
Sticking with the Daily Express website, apparently ‘Man Utd want another Cristiano Ronaldo and Juan Sebastian Veron to follow Mason Mount’.
And that is a very confusing headline for a whole number of reasons, which is obviously the idea. So *click*.
It’s simple enough: Man Utd want Andre Onana and he would become the ninth player the club have signed from Serie A if he joins. But a) that headline definitely implies they are targeting two more signings after Mount, and b) why don’t Man Utd want another Matteo Darmian and Sergio Romero to follow Mason Mount?
Throwaway line of the day
From Paul Gorst in the Liverpool Echo:
Twelve months later, having opted not to tell Suarez, he left with his head held high at Liverpool after 31 Premier League goals and one of the finest individual performances of any season at Anfield.
The man literally couldn’t make his debut until October because he was serving a four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup while very much still a Liverpool player. Not sure his head was held that high really.