13th July 2015: Sterling value rallies as Manchester moves the market

Welcome back Blogees. Quite a lot has happened in the transfer market since yesterday’s post and it all involves moves to Manchester.

Morgan Schneiderlin was forced to settle for his second choice destination after Arsene Wenger witheringly told him ‘non merci, vous Coquelin du pauvre’, and has reluctantly signed for Manchester United, where he’ll be joined by Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger.

But in what will be the biggest move of the market so far, a fee has been agreed between Liverpool and Manchester City for the transfer of Raheem Sterling. I must say I didn’t see that coming, Sterling always seemed so enamoured by life in Liverpool. I was under the impression he adored working with Brendan Rodgers, longed to captain the club and had agreed to sign a new 14-year contract. Truly a turn of events as confusing as his reported price-tag.

£49 million is loose change for City’s owners but their largesse inflates the market for others

I mean, how are players’ prices evaluated? If a 20 year old Raheem Sterling, with 18 goals in 113 appearances for Liverpool, and with a shot as tame as a baby’s bitch-slap, is valued at £49 million, then surely it’d take the GDP of Germany to buy a ready-made, bona fide, world star of Alexis Sanchez’s ilk? Evidently not, as we paid approximately £35million for the Chilean just a year ago and not just because Wenger’s a wily old wheeler and dealer.

As widely acknowledged, the reality for so long now is that English footballers come with a premium. You could argue a major reason is that any transfers involving English players are almost always inter-league – due perhaps to an inherent aversion to trying new countries and cultures – but which means prices are raised due to rivalry. Yet this phenomenon isn’t really reflected abroad.

Maybe then, it’s just as simple as supply and demand and the supposed lack of English talent drives prices higher in an era of home-grown quotas. And of course a player’s marketing potential, his ability to shift shirts etc, all contribute in the concoction of a figure. But even with all that considered, £49 million doesn’t tally talent-wise, with the reported £20 million Chelsea were willing to pay for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this summer.

Because the Ox for me, is a better player than Sterling and just a year older. Which leads me to conclude, there’s no point trying to rationalise it. That would be an endeavour as pointless as Jose Mourinho’s ‘offer’ for the Ox. So next summer, I’m tipping Ross Barkley for a £97 million switch to Chelsea, which will also be trendily nonsensical, because he’s not better than Gareth Bale, has less potential than Neymar and can’t sell replica kits like Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s just that £97m seems about right I reckon.

Moving on and the boss has dismissed the ridiculous recent rumours of a move to Juventus for our record signing Mesut Ozil. Speaking from Singapore, he said:

Ozil is our player, he will remain our player and he wants to remain our player. During this period the newspapers are creative, and have to be creative, but many times the stories come from agents.

Which is about as emphatic as he can be without telling the Old Lady to get back on her mobility scooter and ride off a cliff. The boss then went on to highlight Ozil’s importance to our team and his development at the club, saying:

It is a big season for him because he had a difficult start last year and in the second part of the season he was very important. There are many offensive players who have an important season in front of them but I’m confident because I think they have the quality. Ozil understands the rhythms of English football and he has improved his defensive attitude. He works hard and offensively he is a top class player.

Elsewhere, Yaya Sanogo is reportedly wanted on a loan deal by Ajax, which would give him the opportunity to develop under the tutelage of a certain Dennis Bergkamp. If Dennis could just teach him how to strike a football towards a goal that’d be brilliant. Sorry, that’s more than a little harsh but the former Auxerre man is as raw right now as any first team player I’ve ever seen Arsene buy.

Yet he does have a certain street-fighter something about him, has shown he can be a real handful for defences with his physicality and can easily still improve his range of skills. He was also a prolific goalscorer in his early teenage years in France if that means anything, before serious injury hampered his progress. Good luck to him and I hope he finds his feet in Holland before returning to Arsenal a player ready and able to stake his claim.

And one man who will do just that (not find his feet in Holland, return to Arsenal) appears to be Carl Jenkinson after he reportedly signed a new five year contract with the club before securing a second, successive, season-long loan spell at West Ham. Carl really impressed at Upton Park last year by all accounts and another similarly successful showing this time around may be enough to see him revive his first team hopes at Arsenal. We shall see.

Till Tuesday peeps.

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