It was only a matter of time but this afternoon saw the transfer market well and truly busted open without an apologetic glance in sight. The business, done primarily by two groups of Yanks, came to a princely £36m and many will be wondering how two relative unknowns were able to fetch this figure. Before you ask, they don’t have pure gold flowing through their veins and aren’t able to neck a bottle of Absinthe. That would be worth £36m on its own though.
We’re wavering from the point. The point that the two clubs who have won the most league titles in English football history have spent hideous amounts on largely unproven youngsters. We shouldn’t be at all surprised though.
Liverpool’s lavish spending got underway in January with an outlay of close to £57m on two strikers. One of these was Andrew Carroll of one and half seasons Premier League experience for £35m. Today’s purchase is a just as tricky to decipher. Jordan Henderson cost the club £16m plus David N’Gog, thus taking it to £20m altogether. It’s hard to see where he’ll fit into the side. The youngster excelled in the centre of midfield for Sunderland. He’s unlikely to unseat Steven Gerrard, Raul Meireles or Lucas Leiva though. Wide right would look the preferred option. You can’t help but think £20m can get you a better wide player than Henderson.
Step forward Manchester United. For the second consecutive summer they’ve outlaid millions on a young centre back after agreeing to sign Phil Jones from Blackburn for a reported £16m. It’s a lot of money to be spending on a player and Sir Alex Ferguson hasn’t been immune from making the odd mistake in the past. This is a player that has been coveted by all the top clubs and will be considered a considerable coup for the champions though. Fergie will also see a future centre back pairing in the making between Jones and last summer’s signing Chris Smalling.
Whether Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) believe that they need to recreate the hot stove of Major League Baseball, we’ll never know. Up against the financial might of Manchester City it may be tricky. They have the added “Anfield mystique” and a boss who has a proven pedigree though.