I’ve been trawling various NUFC websites and forums throughout January, just to see what people are saying more than anything.
One of the things that has struck me though is just how many people seem to not get what our transfer policy is all about.
It occurred to me when I read a whole bunch of comments regarding Alex and a proposed move to QPR – a move which has since collapsed by the way with the player and QPR unable to reach an agreement. Basically there was a fair few people saying that we should go for him, even though it would go against every rule in our transfer book.
Why? Well for a start he is 29 now and will be 30 in the summer. We generally don’t sign players over the age of 26. When the only real exception to the rule is Shefki Kuqi you can see that we generally stick to the age profile.
Then there are wage demands. High wages at the kind of level which Chelsea pay will not be tolerated and will scupper any deal before it even gets out of the starting blocks. Of course there is a chance that the player could drop their demands, but in the modern game there aren’t many professionals who would do such a thing.
Then there is the price. Now I personally feel that this is less of an issue. If the player is worth it we will pay the cash required to secure a deal, but if the fee starts to become unreasonable then you can forget it. £10m for Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace? Forget it… A bit of research goes a long way and it’s why we’ve uncovered players like Yohan Cabaye who we picked up for a fraction of his true worth thanks to a release clause in his contract.
The vast majority of deals we conclude will fit all three of these criteria. On occasion we may skip one, but in general all three of the boxes must be ticked for a deal to go ahead. To be honest, you can’t really knock it can you?
I mean you just have to look at the players we’ve brought in to see that, somewhat against the odds in a mad football world, our policy is actually working. Cheik Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa, Davide Santon, Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux, Papiss Demba Cisse, and Demba Ba all fit the profile, and that is the majority of our first team!
My only real bone of contention regarding our policy is the keeping hold of our players part. If we can sort that then I really don’t think it can be criticised at all, but even then we seem to have a canny knack of losing a player and replacing him with a player of equal or better quality.
It’s quite mad really!