£18m rising to £24m…
I never once denied how overpriced this transfer fee for Darren Bent was. At the time, I used Man City’s valuation of £28m for James Milner as justification for our extravagant spending. I pointed to Barcelona’s exchange of £30m plus Samuel Eto’o for the acquisition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Even yesterday, I scoffed at Newcastle for rejecting Spurs’ £23m bid for the North East “Hotshot”. But today, Transfer Deadline Day has certainly helped Villa’s case, and Villa’s perceived sanity, in mammoth proportions hasn’t it?
£18m rising to £24m… It doesn’t sound so bad now does it?!
Let’s just come out and say it: £30m for Andy Carroll isn’t enough. Really? I don’t know who is worse: Liverpool for valuating Carroll at this price and willing to part with their record transfer expenditure for Andy’s limited services; or Newcastle for rejecting this extortionate fee!
Carroll has bagged 11 goals so far in the Premier League this term… hats off. However, 5 of these were headers and one was the result of a careless backpass against Chelsea. Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool have had the ball on the deck effective immediately as of the Scot’s appointment and they play from the back. It remains to be seen how the Geordie number 9 would cope in the absence of Newcastle United’s cosmic football. On the other hand, Darren Bent has proven his Premier League worth for 6 seasons now and has almost matched the exploits of players like Fernando Torres – who today will be bought for £50m.
More interestingly, whilst Darren Bent was going about scoring 24 league goals for midtable Sunderland last season, Carroll was making his case for the Magpies number 9 jersey by scoring the 6th most goals in the Championship last term. Andy notched up a tally of 17 Football League goals, playing at a lower standard for a team who hit the net 90 times in the league. Bent, meanwhile, secured 50% of a Premier League team’s goals.
Celtic’s Gary Hooper banged in more than Carroll, playing for Scunthorpe, in the Championship. He is now keeping pace with the Tyne-man’s tally this year, having played less games in the SPL. Hooper is just a year older than the Newcastle “hitman” but was signed for just £2.4m by the Scottish leaders in July. No-one, including myself, would dare utter the words of Gary Hooper and £30m in the same sentence (unless that sentence was stating how he is NOT worth such a ridiculous amount).
Charlie Adam, playing in midfield for last season’s Championship long shots, also scored more than the long haired enigma could manage. Adam has been the stand-out player in the Premier League this year; he was compared to World Cup winner Xabi Alonso with little objections; he has been absolutely and completely integral to 2010’s Team of the Year, yet he is not deemed worthy of a bid worth just £4.5m…
The fact that £30m wasn’t enough for Carroll means that any bid worth £31m or greater would put the 22 year old in the top 10 most expensive players of all time.
The last day of this strangely magnificent transfer widnow has also seen Liverpool seal the signing of Uruguayan forward player Luis Suarez for £22.8m – almost £5m more than Villa’s initial fee. He seems like a good player and will probably go on to benefit the club. He has a good past record, but why should we forget about Mateja Kezman’s 105 goals in 122 league games in the same country? Bought by Chelsea, the Serbian managed just 4 goals. I’m not saying Pool’s new number 7 is doomed to the same fate, but at least with Bent, the risk Villa were running with their spending was extrememly minimal.
And lest we ever forget Man City’s ridiculous valuations. We don’t need to get into the likes of Santa Cruz, Adebayor, Milner, Lescott or Jo again, but what we should mention is that, with Deadline Day, they are expected to acquire the services of Birmingham reject, Seb Larsson on loan for the remainder of the season. City have splashed the cash on the likes of Milner, Silva and Wright-Phillips; they have deemed players like Bellamy and Weiss unworthy of their first 25; and yet they have resorted to playing Jo on the left and have now shamefully turned their attentions to the uninspiring blue nose.
When Villa dared to extract a record £18m from their pockets for the top class services of Darren Bent, they were questionned. Some laughed, some enviously complained at our lavish spree, some said it was too much – it was too much. But two games later, and the Deadline Day activity, Darren Bent, even at £24m, is quickly proving to be a bargain.