£50 Million For A Rookie? Stan Speaks…
Premier League 2015/16
From a Liverpool perspective, they’ve got a fantastic deal out of the Raheem Sterling situation. £50 million for a player that was very poor in the last three months of last season. Still largely unproven, he has only helped his club into the Champions League once.
He scored 4 goals which “won” games for LFC last season. They came against Bournemouth, Burnley, Newcastle and Spurs. Taking into account that only Spurs were rivals in the league table, winning goals against the others a £50m player does not you make!
When I speak to agents and managers about marquee signings, they look at three specific things:
1) The player
After having such a poor finish to last season, it will be interesting to see if Sterling can switch form on and off like a tap. He’s going to be under immense pressure at Man City.
For Manchester City as a global brand, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero already have this covered.
I don’t think that £50 million is going to be helped massively with shirt sales and merchandise because Sterling has got a toxic reputation right now.
3) Star Pulling Power
Can this signing attract more marquee players to your club? Ozil and Alexis Sanchez did that at Arsenal, they’ve just brought in Peter Cech. Schweinsteiger at Man Utd, a World Cup winner, will undoubtedly do the same.
If I’m a player of £50/60/70 million ability, am I going to move to Man City because they’ve just spent £50 million on essentially, a rookie? The answer is no.
It’s clear that Manchester City have vastly overpaid and Liverpool have got an incredible deal. The most important question for Liverpool now is, can they spend the money whilst being out of the Champions League and get premium quality players?
Spending the Suarez money didn’t really work out for Brendan Rodgers. He needs to bring in a player or players that are vastly going to add to the team to get them back in the Champions League at the first attempt.
As an Aston Villa fan, former Villa player and former Liverpool player, I’m concerned that Liverpool may decide to blow the money on one player, Christian Benteke.
Benteke has the incredible ability to do something out of nothing, but I think that if he goes to Liverpool, the expectation will be to make an immediate impact, to score goals.
If he doesn’t get a great start to the season, the worry for me is, he’s a player that can be anonymous in games. It’s really important that Lallana, Markovic, Ibe, all the players around him, keep him involved in the game. He’s not a natural fit for Liverpool so it will only work if the three players behind him have much better seasons than last season.
Van Gaal Targets League
Their signings of Depay, Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger are absolute proof for me that Louis van Gaal is targeting the League. They’re all players that can help Manchester United get closer this season.
Schweinsteiger’s experience will be invaluable in the dressing room.
He has injury problems but he’s that dominant midfield player that Man Utd need. With Blind, Schneiderlin, Herrera and Carrick alongside him, they’ve really good midfield options now for the first time in maybe five or six years.
Depay is a rookie in Champions League terms. Schneiderlin is a rookie in Champions League terms. Schweinsteiger is a little over the hill in Champions League terms.
I don’t think these three players will make a significant difference in getting Man Utd to the later stages of the Champions League but I certainly think these signings will enhance their ability ten-fold in competing for the Premier League.