If there’s one thing that has become synonymous with modern day football, it’s clubs spending well over the odds in order to acquire the players they need.
Whereas once upon time the existence of a player who could potentially serve as a £100million cash cow would have been laughed at, it’s now a prospect that can widely be judged as a safe bet to be realised within the next five years.
It’s for this reason, amongst a few others, that it really doesn’t make any sense for Manchester United to be sneering at the idea of stumping up the rumoured £25million fee which would be enough to convince Everton to part ways with Leighton Baines.
Quality and suitability aside- we’ll get to that later on- £25million for a player who has years of Premier League experience and is proven to be a consistent performer is something that few managers in David Moyes’ position would sneer at.
Though the press-stirred majority will of course point to the fact that in this instance the player in question is heading into the twilight of his career, it’s my personal opinion that Baines has plenty to offer yet.
If nothing else one look back at recent years should serve as an indication that money can be an extremely overrated commodity in football. In a climate where unknown entities such as Anderson (in the region of £24million) and more recently Fernandinho (who cost Manchester City £30million) can command high fees, why shouldn’t United entertain the idea of meeting Roberto Martinez’s valuation of Baines?
I'm not at all suggesting that they should acquire him merely due to the fact that other clubs have bought less for more, but I maintain my stance that the idea shouldn't be rubbished on the sole theory that he isn't worth the money.
To the modern day football club, particularly those with the prestige, notoriety and fan base of United, £25million is a fee that in the grand scheme of things really isn’t going to make or break their financial standing.
Admittedly Baines might not be capable of offering the promise of someone like Southampton’s Luke Shaw, or perhaps the intrigue of the Fabio Coentraos of the footballing world, but what he can give you is assurances centred around the fact that not only will he turn in performances of the highest calibre, but he’ll do it on a weekly basis.
That, in my opinion at least, should be the paramount criteria with which Moyes selects his priority signings this month, if he is to make any at all, as he can ill-afford to bring in another expensive flop.
As for Baines’ ability to make an impact at Old Trafford, his trademark diligence in both attack and defence is just one of the many things he could add to the squad and, as he’s firmly in the prime of his career, now is the ideal time for anyone looking for a world-class left-back to come knocking.
£25million may seem like a big sum for a defender who can’t promise much more than four years service but, given the situation at hand, Moyes would be wrong to rule out the deal on financial grounds alone.
United aren’t traditionally a club who spend lavishly in order to get the jump on their rivals but, in this respect at least, that little extra buck gives Moyes the ideal bang to spark his squad’s revival.