I don’t take too much notice of Tony Cascarino, as I don’t generally find his views particularly insightful. Sometimes he says things I agree with, but if he says enough then that is almost certain to happen. Last week he pointed out in The Times that QPR may have bought a lot of players with Champions League experience, but that doesn’t mean they’re any good – they’re the ones the CL clubs didn’t want! Good point, and an observation that makes him at least one IQ point smarter than ‘Arry.
He also said Mancini has lost the dressing room (whatever) and the FA will be watching Yohan Cabaye carefully after a couple of bad tackles (doubt it – don’t think they pay that much attention).
But the point that got me thinking was this: “Gareth Bale is the best player in Britain. None of his Premier League peers would fetch anywhere near £50 million. The Welshman would.”
£50m is a lot of money. Only Fernando Torres and Cristiano Ronaldo have ever been bought or sold by British clubs for that amount or more. Let’s refer to the (supposed) experts at transfermarkt.com. They reckon that the most valuable players in the PL at present are these:
Just kidding about Gervinho! They actually reckon he’s worth £10.5m, which is almost as laughable, but they’re not the only ones fooled at that price.
So the ‘experts’ reckon Wayne Rooney is far and away the most valuable player in the Premier League. Who exactly is going to pay that sort of money for Rooney? I just don’t see it. For one thing he’d never leave England, so that narrows the buyers down to Man City and, er, well just Man City. They also haven’t changed their valuation of Van Persie, despite him being nearly a year older than he was last time I looked at this, and being sold for £24m in the meantime. So can we trust anything they say? Some of the other players they list in the top ten are also getting on a bit, but transfermarkt don’t seem to have noticed that value somewhat decreases with age.
Arsenal’s most valuable player is of course Jack Wilshere, who is valued at £28m. As are Torres and Fellaini, but I doubt either of them would fetch that much, while I’d expect Jack to go for no less than £30m given his potential. Mind you I haven’t factored in Arsenal’s terrible negotiating, so perhaps £10m is nearer the mark.
But back to the saviour of N17. Like Jack, he’s still young, has a decade in front of him at top level and the potential to get better. Unlike Rooney, the thought of living in a foreign country wouldn’t fill him with terror, so Madrid or PSG would be possibilities, Bayern too if they wanted to break their transfer record. I can’t see Barca wanting him. Realistically he’s not going to go to a country outside western Europe for several years, and the Italians can’t afford him so that looks like all the options.
Pricewise, I think it probably would be close to the transfermarkt valuation in this case. I’m not saying he’s necessarily better than Wilshere, but price depends on reputation and being flavour of the month as much as hard facts.
I don’t really see it would be possible for the four City and Utd players listed above Bale by transfermarkt to be sold for more than him, so I must reluctantly agree with Cascarino that Bale probably is the Premier League’s current most valuable player. That doesn’t mean he’s the best though, and I don’t think he’d fetch £50m either.
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