Football: Transfer market enigma

Liverpool’s recent capture of Mohamed Salah sparked plenty of conversation

If you have been monitoring social media recently you may have noticed two trends surrounding winger Mohamed Salah. The first trend was regards to Liverpool fans who were eagerly awaiting the club’s official announcement of Salah’s arrival. The second trend was generated by fans of other teams, laughing at Salah’s transfer fee. The Press Association Sport understands it is in the region of €39m (transfermarkt, 2017).

What is the true value of a player? That’s a difficult question. Unlike the car or the housing markets there isn’t an industry rule-of-thumb for what a player is actually worth. The sale price is generated by a number of factors; the buying club’s resources, the buying club’s subjective view on the player’s value, the age of the player, his injury record, the willingness of the selling club to move a player on or retain him and so on. Every fan from every club will be able to cite a player who was signed for either a bargain or an inflated price.

Real Madrid’s extraordinary transfer fees paid for Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United and Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur may look steep on paper, Madrid’s ROI is arguably justified. Andy Carroll’s £50m transfer from Newcastle United to Liverpool seemed absurd at the time, however had Carroll gone on to score 30 goals a different view would have been taken on the fee paid.

A combination of events expose the real value of a transfer; shirt sales soar, the player becomes a club legend or he moves on for a handsome profit etc. Fans will continue to scoff at transfer fees, especially if a transfer target moves to a rival club. The transfer market is an enigma, only time will tell if Liverpool’s transfer fee for Salah is justified.

featured image from open source via pixabay

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