The transfer market for the 2018/2019 season has been opened for 30 days now. It stays open until the 9th of August for Premier league clubs and the 31st of August for the rest of Europe. Today’s transfer market has gained a new name or meaning. “Absurd” or “madness” is how football lovers all over the world, fans and pundits alike call it. What is the reason or motive behind such a name? Well, that is what I seek to discuss with you in this article.
HISTORY OF THE TRANSFER MARKET
Transfer records have been made and broken like bricks used in construction. Before the transfer market we have today came into place, players were only able to change clubs when compensation was paid to the team losing the player. It wasn’t until sometime that prices were actually negotiated for a player.
The first ever three-figure transfer fee was the £100m Aston Villa paid for Willie Groves in 1893. That was more than 100 years ago. The transfer fee involved in player transfer progressed steadily since then, however it took eleven years for a new record to be set. That was achieved when Alf Common joined Middleborough for the first ever four-figure fee. Though that sum caused outrage, fans and football authorities later understood the need for such an increase in player worth.
It wasn’t until 1979 that a player was sold for a million in the transfer market. Trevor Francis made that possible when he transferred to Nottingham Forrest. The number of years it took for the transfer market to reach that figure didn’t make it too alarming. It was still understandable when Jean-Pierre Papin moved to AC Milan for 10m in 1992. The subsequent transfer fees were merited or deserved until recently.
CHANGE OF THE TRANSFER MARKET
Before 2010 the record transfer fee for a player stood at £80m. That record was set when the then world best player Cristiano Ronaldo transferred from Manchester united to Real Madrid in 2009. But over the last 8 years that record transfer fee has been broken 3 separate times. Other exorbitant prices and absurd prices have been charged in between them.
Even before Cristiano Ronaldo’s mammoth transfer to Real Madrid in 2009 became a transfer record, Zinidine Zidane held that title. That transfer record was set in 2001 when he transferred from Juventus to Real Madrid for £46.6m. Since then the transfer market has changed quickly and bigger that it has lost it importance.
PRESENT TRANSFER MARKET
The transfer record in the current transfer market stands at a staggering £198m. This record was achieved when Neymar Da Silva Jnr transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain (PSG) last year. Neymar Da Silva although a good and fantastic footballer does not deserve such a price. But today’s absurd transfer market has made it possible for such a situation to exist. That fee completely broke the bricks that have been developing cracks all along.
The bricks were cracking when Gareth Bale moved from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid for £86m in 2013. As good as Bale was back then he couldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as the 2009 Ronaldo who transferred to Real Madrid for £80m. Paul Pogba weakened the bricks further when he signed for Manchester United for £89m in 2016.
TRANSFER MARKET ANALYSIS
A look at the top one hundred transfers of all time shows that over 60 of them happened between 2010-date. In the last seven years, it has taken a minimum of a year and a maximum of three years for the transfer records to be broken. Ousmane Dembele of France joined Barcelona the same summer as Neymar Da Silva Jnr for ££97m. Phillipe Coutinho of Brazil also joined Barcelona from Liverpool for £106m this January.
Kylian Mbappe’s £120m transfer to PSG was negotiated last summer. It would have been much higher were it negotiated after the world cup. This are all big money moves. All of them don’t deserve such a price tag like in Neymar’s case but that is the transfer market we are dealing with now. Cristiano Ronaldo although a superstar player does not deserve to command the £88.5m Juventus paid for him at his current age.
Mohammed Salah, Eden Hazard, Allison Becker, Nogolo Kante are the latest players making the transfer rumors. Do you see any of this players or anyone else breaking the current transfer record between now and the next 5 years? If so who do you foresee breaking the record and at what price will that be?
THE TRANSFER MARKET IN ONE WORD
The exorbitant and insane prices being charged in today’s transfer market has led to me, football lovers and pundits alike branding it as “absurd”. Do you agree with me or what name will you call it. What name could be used in the next 5 years to describe it?
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