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Is £70m too big a gamble for Liverpool and Manchester United?

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Ah, the transfer window. A truly welcome distraction from real life whenever you pop it open, albeit largely because of the wild speculation that is spouted in the media. Nonetheless, this summer’s proceedings truly have opened up in remarkable fashion. Some of English footballs brightest young stars are being touted as targets for the games top teams… It seems like a familiar old story.

This year though, there seems to be an impetus either to get your business done early and finish up, or simply to splash the cash and flex financial muscles. In any case, Jordan Henderson has completed a £20m move to Liverpool while another of their targets – Blackburn Rover’s Phil Jones – appears to be finalizing a deal to join Manchester United, said to be worth about £16m.

Good gravy. As a slightly amused spectator, I must admit to being confused about the very intentions of these signings. Not least because both players positions are sown down by other players at these clubs – It’ll certainly be a tall order for Jones to force his way into that Manchester United back line, for example. However, the main thing that sticks in my throat about the transfers is the astronomical amount of money involved.

Don’t get me wrong, the game has seen ever increasing prices across the board for years now. I’m not THAT surprised. On top of this, who knows how accurate those figures are? The inclusion of Ngog in the Henderson deal will certainly soften the £20m figure being pushed around. I just can’t see why either club would really base their whole transfer policy (if the rumours are to be believed) around buying young English players at extortionate prices.

Obviously the news that FIFA are planning to bring in changes so that nine players from an eighteen man squad must be ‘home grown’ has inflated these evaluations. And who could blame Sunderland and Blackburn for driving a hard bargain? These are, after all, supposed to be the future of the game. I’m just not sure that things are going to go that smoothly now that transfers have occurred.

Young players need to be taken care of and developed meticulously – how can this happen if they’re being moved around so frequently at such a young age? The very reason these players are in such a position to flourish is because of the work of their original clubs. So to assume that this success will continue at a new club (particularly the two biggest clubs in the country, might I add) is naive.

The pressure to deliver that comes with such a huge sum should not be taken lightly either. I’m not saying that Henderson and Jones are destined to fail now. Far from it. I’m just saying that there’s no guarantee that their development will continue smoothly now that they’ve moved on, and to me, the money both United and Liverpool have paid is gambling too much.

Ashley Young seems to be on his way to United as well, if the papers are to be believed. I think in this case, Young could definitely benefit from playing in better surroundings and furthering himself. At twenty five years of age and with substantial playing experience under his belt, it’s the right time to make that call. Not so with Henderson or Jones. Or Andy Carroll, for that matter.

Fernando Torres’ £50m move to Chelsea was rightly heralded as one of the biggest disappointments of last season. I don’t see why people are ignoring the minimal impact that Carroll has made for Liverpool, in light of his move.

Injuries have certainly played a part in his quiet start to life at Anfield. Fans will be disappointed not have seen more from him, and the pressure will certainly be cranked up high for the new season.

At a combined cost of over £70m Carroll, Henderson and Jones are in danger of flip flopping more than anyone else over the next twelve months. It could easily be a case that these three English hot properties go from being just that to spectacular failures over the next season. Let’s hope that their moves haven’t been miscalculated or premature!

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7 comments

  • a finnigan says:

    andy carrol needs to improve bigtime but is partyin with rooney he should keep his fitness up if he gets side lined again he won’t be at liverpool long i have never liked him but if he scores goals good but he seems dopey no scouser aged 21 would go to a boyzone gig unless kenny asked me but i hope he proves me wrong bigtime and shows us he is better than 39m sergio augero

  • phil_b says:

    could not agree less with this article and the comment in response. Quite apart from its inaccuracies, Henderson cost £16m not £20m, Jones vica versa. The price of a player reflects his age, potential sell-on value, and the length of contract at the previous club. all 3 are good investment and good business. Carroll came to Liverpool with an injury, started 3 or 4 games, and scored twice. The alternative, sure, lets buy 27 year olds, stale, nothing to prove, enough money to open a bank, not worth a penny at the end of their contract …. sounds perfect ?

  • Ged says:

    So Jones and Henderson are bought to replace 2 huge stars of the game, giving them time to bed in before they have to take the mantle on a permanent basis – gets them into the clubs early and they can learn the Liverpool / Man Utd way and be ready to replace Gerrard and Ferdinand when the time comes, but good replacements whilst the 2 older players spend increasing amounts of time on the sidelines as will happen until they retire.

    Young on the other hand is moving with a need for games, games, games (At Jones’ and Henderson’s ages they want to gradually increase their games not provide 40 games a season for at least a couple of years. Young needs 40 odd games but is behind Nani, Valencia, Park and even Giggs so is unlikely to see games week in and week out

    The author of this article, in his desire to suggest that Jones and Henderson are extravagent acquisitions, has therefore got it completely and utterly wrong

    Better spending this amount on these 2 than the same amount on a fella that is not going to be a week in week out regular with zero resale value

    As for Carroll, Well despite only having a few games has already outscored the departed Torres, a player with zero resale value, even if Carroll doesn’t work out somebody will pay decent money and try him but Torres cannot be resold for any money and doesn’t look like fitting into Chelsea but again the focus is to try and suggest that Liverpool in particular have been wasteful and frivolous

  • Mark H says:

    I have read several blogs on these transfers and the money involved. What every one seems to neglect is that these young english players may have high initial transfer fees, but will demand lower salaries than foreign imports. The club owners and money men are not stupid, they do thier sums and they look at resale potentials etc. Aguero would cost £39m plus around £150k per week in wages. Carrol, Henderson and Jones are probably on around £60k per week at their new clubs on 4-5 year contracts. Over 4 years thats around £18m in wages saved.

  • redhed17 says:

    British players are always overpriced, add to that the young players ‘potential’ and the prices are stupid. If they work out though, it’s money well spent. If. 😉

    Carroll has had a few injuries, and will be judged next year. How well they team were playing without him though was a worry, where and how will he fit in and keep the team playing so well.

    In reality though he and Suarez cost virtually nothing as the Torres money paid for them, and Suarez has already looked class.

    For Liverpool, the seeming endless pursuit of central midfielders and forwards is worrying considering we need defenders and wingers.

    BTW, it is not just British players overpriced, more than £8m for Enrique is a joke.

  • Kevin Kav says:

    Yeah the figures reported in the papers/online tend to lead to inaccurate depictions when covering these things. I wrote this article a couple days back when those were the figures being touted.
    Besides which,my article is just one interpretation of this situation. The money is enormous,and in my opinion it’s a huge gamble for all three. Like I said,no guarantee that they’re going to fail – but the price tags carry with them absolutely massive pressures. I would disagree that the alternative is to buy a stale twenty seven year old with nothing to prove – there’s loads of diversity and quality in the market! While I agree with your resale value comment,I don’t think anyone should be thinking about that when buying a player. They should be thinking bout the job they can do for the club.

  • time says:

    I think its really important that the top english teams have english players. sure you can spend 50mil on tores for 1 goal and thats fine. buy english and everyone is slating it. jones will be fantastic at united, he can learn off of vidic and rio and be exposed to the football at the highest level. so to for smalling. sometimes it takes a large transfer fee to get the right player, to buy him out of his contract. it shows how henderson and jones are held in such high regard to people who are invovled in the game, that are willing to pay such fees. Carrol will be great for liverpool, so too henderson. smalling and jones will be the back bone for united for many years. British players are, and can become, world class if you give them the chance and have faith in them. i think united and liverpool should be praised for their efforts in signing british players.

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