If recent transfer windows in the Premier League have taught us anything, it’s that not having a reliable backup to your ‘star man’ can be very dangerous indeed.
Though the money earned from the sale of a truly world-class entity is usually enough to cover over the deficit on paper, it’s a whole different ball-game when it comes to replacing the player in question for the long-term.
Tottenham tried with the money they received for Gareth Bale in 2013, and have failed dramatically. Liverpool, thus far anyhow, have mirrored them since letting Luis Suarez leave.
There’s a lesson to be learnt for any clubs thinking about cashing in on their brightest talent; either ensure that you are adequately able to cope with the loss before you sell him, or don’t sell him at all.
De Gea leaving?
To some extent - admittedly there are points to consider - the current situation with Manchester United’s David de Gea is one that should only be approached after Louis van Gaal has taken a long, hard look at that rule.
The Spain international might not be a player as influential as either Bale or Suarez were for their respective Premier League outfits, but he’s certainly one of the lynchpins of Van Gaal’s squad, and during the current period of uncertainty he is practically invaluable.
Yet the media-mill persists in churning out stories claiming that De Gea is being eyed by Real Madrid for a transfer in the foreseeable future, and with the young stopper’s form it’s not too difficult to lend yourself to the theory that their interest in genuine.
With Iker Casillas’s impregnable status having been shattered virtue of a year of shaky performances Los Blancos need another ‘keeper, and as always they want the most promising pup in the litter, so to speak.
As such United should be preparing for a time when they have to sell De Gea, even if they’re not willing to accept it as a realistic possibility. With Madrid looking certain to cement their position as Europe’s dominant force once again this year the 24-year-old will know he is virtually guaranteed success at the Santiago Bernabeu. The sort of success he’s currently bereft of at United.
So to whom can the Red Devils turn should the De Gea to Madrid move pick up pace? Their options are limited when it comes to world-class ‘keepers, and yet there is a candidate currently plying his trade in the Premier League who would appear, on paper at least, to be suitable. Chelsea fans look away; it’s Petr Cech.
Blues supporters will most likely have winced at the treatment of their loyal servant since Thibaut Courtois’s return from a three-year loan spell at Atletico Madrid this summer and, whilst Jose Mourinho’s decision to make the Belgian his No.1 is completely vindicated, Cech’s position is uncomfortable to say the least.
For a goalkeeper of his stature to be playing only in cup games just simply doesn’t cut it, and if United were to offer him a way out, it makes sense to assume that the chance to play regularly in a team with real ambitions of glory would override the loyalty factor keeping him at Chelsea.
Afterall, he is a masterfully talented No.1 who has lost his starting spot through no fault of his own. At 32 it could be argued that he has his peak years ahead of him between the sticks, and fans will have hopes shaded with memories of Edwin van der Sar when they think of how good Cech could be.
The Dutchman didn’t move to Old Trafford until he was well into his thirties, before proving himself to be the best goalkeeper there since the legendary Peter Schmeichel.
It’s safe assume that Cech wouldn’t cost all too much either, and his £120,000-a-week wages would hardly blow the lid of United’s budget. De Gea leaving the club is far from ideal, but when his potential successors are ranked it has to be said that the Chelsea star sits firmly at the top.
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