Magical Mudryk! Should Arsenal meet Shakhtar’s demand? by Ajay Rangi
Mykhaylo Mudryk! Flavour of the Jan transfer window and a name every Arsenal fan is talking about. And Shakhtar is playing hard ball on the transfer money with Arsenal FC. We all know about this. But should we pay what they are asking?
Before that, let’s look at the most expensive signings in football history.
Player – Price in million euros – Club – Footballing Impact
Neymar – 222 – PSG – Average
Mbappe – 180 – PSG – Excellent (it’s French league and hasn’t won Champions league)
Coutinho – 145 – Barcelona – Flop
Feliex – 127 – At.Madrid – Flop
Griezmann – 120 – Barcelona – Flop
Grealish – 117 – Man.City – Below expectations
Lukaku – 115 – Chelsea – Flop
Dembele – 105 – Barcelona – Average
Pogba – 105 – Man Utd – Flop
Hazard – 100 – Real Madrid – Flop
Ronaldo – 100 – Juventus – Above Avg but not what’s expected from the name
Bale – 100 – Real Madrid – Success (on medals won, real fan will have different opinion)
If same clubs are asked to go back in history and decide on signing the same player for the same money, with the knowledge how that will work out, how many clubs will? Or how many fans will want to do it again? Mbappe and VVd yes, others? Hmmmm!
Signing a very expensive player is not a surety of success on the football pitch. In fact every transfer mentioned above will get poor financial return when club have to offload the player. Barring Mbappe & VVD every player’s market value was lower after 1 year of expensive transfer.
Look at the data of highest English Premier League transfers. Grealish, Lukaku (twice – Chelsea and United), Pogba, Antony, Maguire, Sancho, VVD, Fofana, Nunez, Havertz, Pepe, Arrizabalaga, KDB, Di Maria. Among these top 15 most expensive transfers in PL, only Kevin De Bruyne and VVD has been a great success on the field. Some others still have time to come good, like Antony, Fofana, Nunez etc. but they haven’t justified the price tag in the months we have seen them till now. Among the players spent over a 1Year at new club haven’t been great on field to justify the price tag. That is, out of 15 being 10 not good enough and 2 outstanding. That’s 20% success rate only!
Clearly, success on pitch is not linked to price tag of player. Rather chances are that expensive players won’t justify the expense done.
On this reason itself, chances of success for +80m Mudryk are not very high on football ground basis historical data. Over 55-60m, its not sensible business.
My personal view is that fees upward of 60m vs between 40-50m, former is rarely a reflection of quality of player but rather good negotiations from selling clubs in combination with a long contract. And more expensive purchases impacts players emotions negatively in general.
Having established facts on expensive transfers, let’s look at needs that we have. Our need is not Mudryk. Our needs are 3 practical issues.
- Plan B when plan A is not working. We need someone to come and impact the game when starting 11 is not giving result or players need rest.
- Need backup for injuries. With present injuries, we are relying on 3 players to play as front 3 in 433 formation. With Europa league and FA cup, we need other players to contribute.
- Don’t allow present forward players to build comfort zone by giving competition.
We don’t have concern on goals or relativity presently in our starting 11. So we are not adding goals to starting 11 but trying to add goals and assist coming from bench, which we have lacked since Smith-Rowe became injured.
It’s irrelevant how we solve the issues we face. It can be Mudryk or it can be some one else. As long as we solve the issues efficiently that we have in squad, I don’t care which player we bring in.
My personal opinion:
At 60m+ we are already acting desperate. We don’t want to set a precedent that we can be arm twisted like Man Utd in overpaying for players. We should have a cut off price and all clubs should know (by examples we are) that Arsenal will always have a point beyond which they will walk away.
More importantly our squad need investments in multiple positions. I rather buy 2 players for 80-90m than 1 player and address 2 deficiencies in squad in this transfer window.
We are Arsenal and not Man Utd or Chelsea with money to throw around.
As fans we should encourage Arsenal FC management to have a balanced approach. I know we are in great position in the league but actions should be to improve the squad, bench and tactical options, and not be fixated about one player. For positions we need to improve. Sure there will be a preference on positions we need to improve first and later and similarly preferences of players 1 and 2 for these positions.
Though top of league, we are still nowhere close to completion of the project. Vinai, Edu and Arteta have dismantled the old squad, moved on the deadwood, brought in good ambitious youngsters, changed the culture, mindset and work ethics of players and started giving an identity to playing style.
Squad building is still pending and underway and will take two more summer windows. One thing is clear, Arsenal has come a long way under our new management and we are here to stay.
Perhaps we may not win the league this year, but we are here to stay as a very competitive side which other teams will fear to face. We will compete for titles in future, and more importantly Arsenal will be even more dangerous next year than this year as the project takes further shape.
And that’s irrespective of Mykhaylo Mudryk’s transfer saga outcome.
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