So we’ve had Bale, now Neymar is the most expensive player in the world. Neither of them are in the Premier League this coming season… but there is a new trend creeping up on us.
If you look at the summer spending of all clubs, strikers will always be golden tickets for success. Goals mean titles, survival, top 4, success.
But I remember many years ago talking to a prominent football agent who said that tall strikers and left sided players would always be marketable, easy to move between clubs, easy to make 10 per cent fees out of.
The trend though is a shift in the value of full backs or wing backs in current parlance. Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo are on board at Manchester City at a cost of £133 million. They are absolutely key to the way Pep Guardiola wants to play and they are also key to his hopes of winning the Premier League title.
Walker and Danny Rose were vital cogs in Spurs’ push for the title last season and it was also crucial Mauricio Pochettino had back up talent in Steven Davies and Kieran Trippier.
If you are a young player learning your trade in one of the many academies around the country, you could do worse than specialise in this full back/wing back position. You will be as crucial to attack as in defence, you will need to be super-fit, but you will earn millions if you carry it off.
Valencia did it well for Manchester United last season, Everton have Baines and Coleman but have bought Cuca Martina from Southampton in case of injury. Simpson and Fuchs were more traditional full backs in Leicester City’s title winning season but Southampton and Crystal Palace are in a battle to sign Benfica right back Andre Almeida as I write this … £8million looks a snip.
The full back is the big commodity of the premier league in 2017/18. Hector Bellerin coveted by Barcelona, Nathaniel Clyne for Liverpool, the Schlupp/Van Aanholt duo at Palace…the full back attackers are in evidence this season.
One can only wonder how much someone like Ashley Cole or Kenny Sansom going back to the 80s would be worth currently. Carlos Alberto, Cafu and co have been doing this for Brazil for donkey’s years. And if you want a guide to the value of the full back look at PSG’s hiring of 34 year old Dani Alves – Barcelona, Juventus and now Paris – 3 of the biggest clubs on the planet can’t be wrong that this is the kind of player who can win you trophies.
Yes, if I do depart from media training to being football agent, I will specialise in full backs. That’s the way to make money in the 20 teens.