Is it ever possible to get good value when shelling out north of £25m for a defender? Manchester City’s recent exploits would leave many dubious.
Over the past two seasons, the Citizens have reportedly dished out around £70m, if not more, for Eliaqium Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi, neither of whom has yet proven anywhere as good as their own Vincent Kompany, who cost £6m in 2008.
Given such high-profile failures in the defensive market, followers of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham could be forgiven for a hint of trepidation over their sides’ recent market maneuverings.
The Evening Standard revealed the Blues may have to fork out as much as £50m to sign Napoli centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly.
Meanwhile, both the Reds and the Lilywhites are reportedly keen on £25m-rated 1. FC Koln full-back Jonas Hector.
Hearteningly for those in pursuit of the aforementioned batch of £25m-plus defensive talents, City’s recent inability to get decent value for their premium backline buys is by no means typical of such transfer dealings.
A brief, and by no means exhaustive, history of rearguard residents acquired for in excess of such a price include the following:
Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Luke Shaw, Rio Ferdinand (both Manchester United), Mats Hummels, Javi Martinez (both Bayern Munich), Thiago Silva, David Luiz (both Paris Saint-Germain) and Lillian Thuram (Juventus).
Shaw had just begun to justify his transfer fee at Old Trafford after sharing an indifferent 2014/15 with all at the club, when suffering a serious injury last September.
Hummels has yet to play a competitive match for Bayern, but has already proven himself a Champions-League-level centre-half at Borussia Dortmund.
The subsequent success of the rest cannot be questioned, with even the oft-ridiculed Luiz winning the Champions League and Europa League with Chelsea and then consecutive French domestic trebles with PSG.