Has the Covid-19 virus messed up market values for transfers?
It would seem abundantly true.
With the majority of clubs looking at cost-cutting measures to recoup lost TV and match going fans revenue, the flavour of this transfer window will most likely be loans.
Although there are exceptions. Manchester City and PSG have the deepest of pockets and with FFP proving to be of no consequence, they could quite easily stockpile the greatest talents out there.
Chelsea too, have been flexing their spending might. Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, the wages of Thaigo Silva and now Kai Haverrtz have arrived at Stamford Bridge. It shows that the Blues have cash to spend – but these three clubs are the rarity, not the majority.
The purse strings will be much tighter for most, but when clubs do spend, they will expect to pay market value – but what if that barometer is skewed?
It seems to be that way.
Take, for example, the purported transfer of Lucas Torreira.
The midfielder is a full international for a reputable national side. He has topflight experience in both Serie A and the Premier League and his best years are still ahead of him. His reputation precedes him too. The ball-winner would slot into most sides.
You would expect to pay around £35-40m for such an asset.
Yet the transfer fee being bandied around – should Torreira leave for either Fiorentina, Torino or Roma – is around £22m.
Then we look at the latest acquisition from Aston Villa. The Midlands side have purchased Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest. A 23year old right back with no top-flight record to speak of, the fee is around £16m – just £6m short of Torreira’s reported fee.
Eberechi Eze, hot talent though he is, was sold to Crystal Palace for 19.5m.
Kostas Tsimikas, a Greek left-back from Olympiakos, cost just under £12m for Liverpool.
There are bargains out there for clubs, but if we accepted such a paltry bid for Torreira, then we’d need to seriously look at the powers that be who govern these things.
Thomas Partey, reported to be Torreira’s intended replacement, has a release clause of 50m Euros. That is a contrasting amount to Torreira.
It is widely known Arsenal need to sell players to trim the fat from the wage bill but selling off our players for under their worth really does defeat the object.
With players such as Shkodran Mustafi, Torreira, Holding and even Bellerin being touted as possible outgoings, that could represent a serious shot in the arm to our finances – but it isn’t just Torreira who is being touted to go for a reduced fee.
PSG, the club with the never-ending chequebook, apparently want to recruit Bellerin, and have offered £25m.
That’s £25m for a Spanish international full-back who has years of topflight experience and has not reached his peak?
That is only £9m less than Matty Cash!
Come on Arsenal. If we really do need to sell, it’s time to negotiate a bit smarter.