If Manchester City were to succeed this summer, Tottenham Hotspur would receive their highest ever transfer fees for Harry Kane, and Aston Villa would get their highest ever transfer fees for Jack Grealish.
The transfer fee for Grealish is said to be around $ 140 million, while any offer for Kane would have to be north of $ 200 million for Spurs to accept. But few clubs in the past have used their registration fee money to make their teams better than they were before they sold their star player.
It is almost impossible for a team to find an equivalent replacement for a player over $ 100 million. Players at this price are so expensive precisely because they are irreplaceable. There is no striker in the world who can match Harry Kane for both his goals, his delay and his passing ability.
And even if such a player existed, it would be difficult for clubs outside the Champions League, like Spurs or Villa, to be able to attract them. In fact, it would be difficult for them to attract a player in this price range.
Even among teams regularly in the Champions League, there are few examples of clubs spending an entire eight-figure amount on a player like Atletico Madrid did in 2019 when they replaced Antione Griezmann. by Joao Felix.
Rather than putting all their eggs in one basket, clubs might think it makes sense to use record fees to bolster multiple areas of their squad, but this can easily lead to diminishing returns, especially if recruiting is low. Nottingham Forest, for example, has never recovered from the misuse of its record British-era transfer fee (a measly $ 11 million) for Stan Collymore some 25 years ago.
If a $ 150million fee is split in three ways, a club could theoretically sign three $ 50million players, which would represent an improvement over the average two-position first-team player and a demotion of the position. of the featured player that was sold. . But start dividing it by more than that and the difference between incoming players and players already there starts to get negligible. Not only that, but any new hires could start to affect the team’s unity.
Spurs fans know this all too well. When Tottenham Hotspur sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in 2013, they used the money to buy seven players, of which only Christian Eriksen was seen as a real success at White Hart Lane.
It’s the same story when Everton sold Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United in 2017. They managed to bring in some quality players like Jordan Pickford, but a lot of the money ended up on Davy Klaassen, Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott. When Liverpool sold Luis Suarez to Barcelona in 2014, they brought in Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno and Mario Balotelli, among others. Both teams went on to have worse seasons than before selling their star player.
Getting good value for money is even more difficult as negotiations will be affected by everyone knowing that the club are desperate for a replacement and have the money, making it difficult to recruit players at a good price, and as the player sold for mega-money often had the whole team built around them, the manager will likely have to change the way the team plays.
If the player is not substituted properly, or not at all, the manager is often blamed as Brendan Rodgers did at Liverpool after Suarez left.
But with the right scouting and planning ahead, clubs can get it right. When Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho, for example, rather than trying to replace him directly, they used Virgil Van Dijk’s money to turn one of their weaker parts of the squad into a still rock.
Aston Villa appear to be much better prepared than Tottenham Hotspur in this regard. When Jack Grealish got injured last season, their creativity dried up. If the results of the games he played were taken over an entire season, they would have finished 7th, without him they would have finished 17th. It’s the same story in 2018/19 when based on matches with Grealish, Villa would have finished 2sd in the championship, while on the basis of the matches without him they would have finished 19th.
Villa has been given a warning about the seriousness of living without Grealish, and has already tried to fix this with the signatures of the much appreciated Emi buendia and Lightning-fast dribbler Leon Bailey, both a higher level than Villa’s previous attacking midfielder options, namely Grealish. Even though Villa isn’t signing an identical replacement, those signings should mean that if Grealish is sold his absence won’t be as bad as when he was injured last season.
Tottenham, on the other hand, were completely built around the interaction between Harry Kane and Son Heung-min under Jose Mourinho last season. Those two were overworked and Spurs also lost Gareth Bale this summer when he returned to Real Madrid.
If they sell Kane, they won’t have time to properly replace him before the start of the season. Kane’s jump training doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be leaving this summer, as many stars like Luka Modric had only their movements a year after making their intentions known, and Spurs’ lack of a plan suggests they won’t let Kane go even if he’s playing tough.
But at the same time, it’s been clear for some time now that Harry Kane wants to leave Spurs, and the club’s lack of a plan could mean Spurs fans could see a repeat of how the club spent poorly on it. money they got from Gareth Bale. transfer of the world record in 2013.