Are Barcelona & PSG wasting their money?
Some of the biggest clubs in Europe continue to splash the cash on players they don't need.
As much of Europe swelters, it appears that many of Europe's heavyweights have let the sun go to their heads.
Britons are well known for losing all decency and self-control in summertime but this time it's our continental rivals that have seemingly lost it.
While Manchester City and Chelsea have done some good business, the big hitters in Munich, Barcelona and Paris have pulled off some frankly ridiculous transfers.
On the day that Edinson Cavani becomes a PSG player for a league-shattering, earth-shaking £55 million, you have to question what on earth they were thinking. They already have one of the world's best strikers, not to mention one of the most egotistical and highly paid.
Did they pay that much money for a Zlatan back-up? Surely not. Did they break the Ligue 1 transfer record to play one of the world's most devastating strikers on the wing? I wouldn't put it past them but you'd hope not.
Or do they expect to sell Ibrahimovic even when he earns more than everyone else in Paris put together? I honestly can't see it.
Only Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid could afford his wages and I do not see Zlatan's ego settling in nicely next to Cristiano Ronaldo's at the Bernabeu, while City are pursuing cheaper, younger solutions in Jovetic and Negredo.
That just leaves Chelsea. They do need a centre forward but again, the Swede is 31 years old with mammoth wages and there is better value for money out there. Mourinho also seems to be willing to give the young Belgian, Lukaku, a chance, so that too appears unlikely.
That begs the final question. Does Laurent Blanc intend to play Zlatan and Cavani together as a front two? It could work domestically but, in Europe, their midfield would easily become overrun and do you expect either one of them would be happy sitting on the bench?
It is true that pretenders to the Champions League crown need more than one world class striker but two of this ilk, with one as explosive and highly charged as Ibrahimovic, it just doesn't make any sense.
It's not just Paris Saint-Germain making unnecessary waves in the transfer market. Bayern Munich thought they would add to their stellar midfield, recently endowed with the world's best young midfielder in Mario Gotze, by adding another of Europe's brightest young midfielders who plays in pretty much the same position: Thiago Alcantara.
The difference is, Gotze is proven. He was a key player in Dortmund's charge to the Champions League final last term as well as their recent domestic success. Thiago, on the other hand, is just a luxury talented youngster that Barca could wheel out in the Copa Del Rey whenever the four midfielders better than he is couldn't be bothered.
Now it is no disgrace for a player to be behind Xavi and Iniesta in the pecking order – they are two of the best midfielders of the modern era and the best midfielders in world football – but Xavi is getting on now and will no doubt be phased out over the next two seasons, so why sell what could be his heir?
Fabregas and Thiago could fight it out to be his successor.
Why sell one of your hottest talents a) for so little money (relatively speaking) and b) to your biggest rival in Europe? Bizarre.
Of course, Thiago, by all that is right and fair, shouldn't play very often in Germany, if at all, given that the Bayern midfield is even more frought with competition, but still it's an odd transfer to green-light.
Is he better than Gotze? No. Is he better than Kroos? No. Is he better than Muller? No. Can he play defensive midfield? No. Would he get to play there even if he could? No.
It makes no sense from a Bayern perspective or from a Barcelona one. Bayern could have shelled out £20 million on a top class defender or added more depth to the striking department but instead they spent it on a midfielder who is inferior to the ones they already have.
Not only are Barcelona selling players that might come in useful in the very near future, they have also spent a ridiculous sum on a certain Neymar, the next Lionel Messi (who they already have). It is the same question I ask when thinking about Cavani and Ibrahimovic: can they play together?
On paper, yes but they like to occupy the same position and do the same thing: mainly, make everyone else look very silly. Johan Cruyff argued that with Neymar's arrival, Messi could be sold (an almost fatal amount of sun to the head if ever there was one) but why buy him in the first place? He wasn't necessary.
They could have used that £48.6 million to prise a player they do need, like Thiago Silva, away from PSG but no, they need to improve what is already a stellar attack. And don't even get me started on what they did to the world's best striker, David Villa.
Did they get the Brazilian wonderkid (and that is all he is at the moment) just to stop other clubs from getting him, namely their old enemies, Real Madrid. Or do they genuinely think that with his arrival they can move away from Messi-dependance? We'll have to wait and see but, for now, it looks like an extremely wasteful piece of business.
It's not just the continent's biggest clubs being wasteful either, it's also the players themselves making these moves who should be questioned. Was Thiago Alcantara not better off at a club like Manchester United where he would get playing time and improve and grow?
Why did he not go out on loan at a club like Valencia or Atletico Madrid? Why didn't Neymar stay in Brazil where he was settled and successful until after the World Cup?
Why didn't Cavani strive for the move of his dreams instead of diving into the soap opera/comedy disaster movie that is PSG? He would be a very rich man anywhere he decided to play after all.
Let's hope the rest of Europe's big guns don't follow suit, both clubs and players alike.
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