It seems as though every single transfer involving a Premier League club now involves a fee so big that we’re used to just batting them away. It’s just a number now. It doesn’t actually mean anything.
Stoke City look set to sign Joe Allen for around £13 million and, so mental is the market these days, some are even suggesting that the Welshman could represent value. That is what a functional top flight midfielder will set you back these days.
When it comes to world record fees, though, we still notice. When Juventus rejected an offer in the region of £85 million for midfielder Paul Pogba from Manchester United, social media was awash with consternation at the sheer size of the sum involved. That United now look set to secure a deal for somewhere in the region of £100 million has only added to the shock.
Amazing how Pogba has gone from being “The Biggest Mistake Fergie ever made” to “Overrated & waste of Money”…. Being a MUFC fan is Fun
— FFSDEGEA WYD??? (@Lizutd) July 19, 2016
In the context of such a crazy market, though, Pogba actually represents a good value signing for United. It almost doesn’t matter how much they end up paying for him – they can afford it.
You can easily burn through £100m on a series of mediocre performers these days. As United know all too well – Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay and Marouane Fellaini take you past that figure in the last couple of years. None of them have done any better than alright. It’s a list of expensive Joe Allens.
Pogba would, at the very least, guarantee performances. It hurts United more than most, having let him slip through their fingers as a teenager, but Pogba has everything. He is arguably the finest midfielder in the world already. It is almost unarguable that he will be within two or three years.
Unlike their last marquee signing, Angel di Maria, Pogba has the physicality to adapt quickly to the Premier League and has lived not just in England, but in Manchester, in the recent past. Adaptation should be no problem.
It is not just as a footballer that Pogba makes sense for United, though. He is a box office personality for a club that likes to see itself as the marketing behemoth of world football. Pogba will shift shirts across the world and help to keep United right at the top of people’s thoughts, even without Champions League football.
A photo posted by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba) on
United now make so much money that it almost doesn’t matter how much Pogba costs. They have the £100m available to spend and, over time, Pogba will repay that fee and plenty more on top, both with his performances and his brand. Really it is just a number and, nine figures or not, it is better value than a Morgan Schneiderlin or a Joe Allen.
United’s most expensive year by year signings compared to clubs turnover 1993-2016. Pogba will cost 19.6% of t.o. pic.twitter.com/id6eAXTyeN
— Man Utd Stuff (@ManUtdStuff) July 20, 2016
In fact, at just 19.6% of the club’s current turnover, it can be argued that Pogba is cheaper, relatively speaking, than either Juan Sebastian Veron or Rio Ferdinand. If he can have the same sort of impact and longevity as the latter, then the investment into Pogba will be a sound one. He’s the perfect modern footballer.