What a quiet transfer window it’s been this off season.
Clubs aren’t running around splashing their TV cash.
Could it be the lull after last year’s big World Cup spending spree?
I’m not too sure about that though since the usual suspects are still active in the market.
Manchester City have quietly gone and picked up Atletico Madrid’s Rodri.
It wasn’t a huge saga, they paid the £57m release clause and the deal was done.
While it was a club record, the news has gone down without much fanfare.
But it’s been weird in that there hasn’t been a £150m-plus move in the works.
It would be a massive deal for any club to drop that many zeroes.
However, it’s becoming the expected thing, the new norm.
While we could still see that happen with Paul Pogba leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid, it’s just how many players are being valued in that bracket.
Matthijs de Ligt, for example, led Ajax to the Champions League semifinal at the tender age of 19.
He moved to giants Juventus, for £67m. And somehow, for me, that seemed to be a bargain despite that amount making the Dutchman the second-most expensive defender in football history.
One just has to look at the transfer of Joao Felix from Benfica to Atletico this month to see that we have a warped sense of value.
The teen cost £113m - making him the fourth most expensive player of all time.
That’s more than the £107m Barcelona paid for the man he was signed to replace, Antoine Griezmann.
What makes the Griezmann fee an anomaly, next to the Joao Felix one, is that he is a World Cup winner and a proven goalscorer.
But Grizza’s transfer will see La Liga decide on his valuation after a dispute between Atletico and Barca.
Atleti agreed to let French striker leave the club at the end of the last season with his release clause worth £180m. But Barca waited to make their move once that expired and dropped to amount they wanted to pay.
It’s something maybe Fifa should look into - creating a transfer valuation system.
It will be difficult for sure.
Putting a value on something is very subjective.
Clubs obviously will reserve the right for compensation.
And typically the price tag they slap on a player takes into account their investment in development and the projection of the future value of the player as well as the current contract.
However, a stats-based bracket system to give buying and selling clubs guidelines on valuations would be very helpful and more realistic.
Otherwise we get the weird market we have today.