The Coronavirus has influenced every single sport event in the world, some are postponed whereas others are cancelled. The same has happened with football as well, and since there is no football why not read about it. The topic of the debate for every football is Liverpool’s recent success and dominance in football almost after 16 years.
Liverpool has performed exceptionally in the last two seasons and the credit goes definitely to Jurgen Klopp for managing the team so well that Liverpool won the Champions League last season and is in the verge of lifting the premier league this season. But the question is how was it possible, the answer is simple the new signings who have not only performed but have been outstanding in their duties and are now the backbone of the Liverpool team. Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho and Allison Becker were brought by the club after selling Coutinho two years ago, which says a lot about how it all changed. A left-winger who was sold for almost £145 million, made the club purchase 3 defensive players and it changed the whole picture for Liverpool.
The rift that has been caused when it comes to the transfer price of the defensive players and players playing further ahead in the field is really disappointing. It is believed that the strikers win matches and the defenders win tournaments yet match winners are more expensive as compared to season winners.
Defensive qualities like positional play, marking and organizational skills have not translated well to television and therefore is not well-conceived by the untrained eye who loves seeing goals scored and is dissatisfied in a hard-fought goalless draw. The defenders like Puyol or Maldini were so well known for their positional abilities that at times they intercepted or tackled effortlessly which were often not talked about by the pundits, whereas a player lacking such skills are often exposed and are vulnerable at difficult situations.
The defender’s job is best done when they are away from the camera focus which is when they mark the strikers or wingers. It is seen that whenever a defender narrows an angle to score for a striker it is often referred to as bad miss and the effort which made it a bad miss are often neglected. The importance of a strong defence is the requisite if any club needs to win a Championship, Real Madrid’s defence is the key to their three consecutive Champions League titles, Juventus in their 2016-17 Champions League campaign conceded mere three goals prior to the finals.
The situation is even more questionable when we start talking about the goalkeepers in the transfer markets, the Managers tend to save big bucks when it comes to signing a Goalkeeper for the club. It is really shocking to see that the record transfer fees of Allison Becker was seen as an overpriced transfer deal until he proved his worth at Liverpool after joining from AS Roma breaking the transfer record of Gianluigi Buffon after 18 years.
The transfer of Kepa Arrizabalaga bagged a hefty £80 million when he was brought by the Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. But the above two transfers are the only two transfers that bagged such a hefty amount, it is often said that Goalkeepers lack skills and have a handful in their arsenal but recent performances by the likes if Ter Stegen, Jan Oblak, and Kepa has shown the opposite with exceptional ball control and ball distribution.
A striker needs to be innovative and experimental in his approach in the same way a goalkeeper needs to be agile and quick in movement, it’s often that one single save by the goalkeeper that offers a point to the team when the striker fails to perform.
The recent transfers of Virgil Van Dijk for £75 million, Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid to Bayern for £68 million, Aymeric Laporte to City for £57 million are the three most expensive defenders. Kepa Arrizabalaga is the most expensive goalkeeper with a transfer fee of £71 million, Allison Becker being second in the list with £66.8 million transfer fees.
The situation seems to improve but only till the time we don’t view the transfer prices of strikers in recent time Romelu Lukaku who failed to perform for United in the Premier League was sold to Inter Milan for a transfer fee of €80 million, Ousmane Dembele who is yet to prove his worth at Barca was signed for €105 million with up to €42 million in bonus payments, Barca also invested €120 million fee on Philippe Coutinho, which could increase to €160 million with bonuses is currently on loan to Bayern as he failed to perform at the Camp Nou.
The successful strikers who have consistently been able to help their teams secure the 3 points are brought for even higher price the best example being Kylian Mbappe the highly coveted teenager even before being a World Cup winner was signed by PSG, who paid an exuberant fee of €180 million for his services. The most expensive footballer in the world is yet again a striker from Brazil Neymar jr who is no doubt one of the best in the world, the Qatari-owned French giants Paris Saint-Germain was able to lure him from Barcelona for £222 million.
It is high time for the clubs to start pricing their defenders and goalkeepers at par with the attacking players in order to safeguard the interest of their clubs. It is often seen that the best defenders of the clubs are signed for low transfer fees and the clubs they left are often exposed to the threats of the best attackers, Hummels was brought by Bayern for €38 million after his excellent performances for Dortmund and after his departure, Dortmund wasn’t the same.
The clubs often fail to balance the squads due to the same reasons shelling out hundreds of millions for a new talent seems legit but spending half the amount for a world-class defender seems too expensive for them. With the Football Fraternity evolving day by day, there is still hope to someday see a defender or a goalkeeper break the world record transfer fee.
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