A fan written piece by one of our very own, Roy Frankland (Dubai Toon). This one seems particularly relevant after today’s claims from the Chronicle that we are now in talks with a striker who could smash our club record fee. We’ll believe that when we see it, mind..
I’m old enough to remember the very first £1 million transfer in what was then the old first division. Trevor Francis transferred to Nottingham Forest in 1979 for £1.15 Million (including some fees and taxes!) and suddenly the world took notice. It was big news! That season, Trevor Francis scored 14 goals for Forest and helped them to win the European cup. The following season he only scored 6 goals and then he moved on, but the era of the £1 million player was here to stay. The barrier was breached and the flood gates opened.
Almost 40 years on from that first £1 million deal, fast forward to where we are today, with the huge revenues from TV around the world and the unbelievable barrier of the £100 million player now breached, and not just once!
What should teams expect to pay for a qualified, proven goal scorer and in effect, what is the cost of a goal in the premiership today?
Listening to Rafa speak about striker a short while ago, it occurred to me that in effect what you need to spend today, as a minimum, is around £1 million per goal. This is a very simplistic viewpoint, I know, but I think to get a good 20 goal a season player, you must be looking at a transfer price of around £20 million, without even considering the astronomical wages this level of player would demand. If you can only pay £5 million, you can expect a return of roughly 4 – 7 goals a season at best from that player. There is another dimension to this too, I feel, and that is consistency. If you want a player that can consistently score 20 or more goals in a season, then this will multiply the number. There are very few players that will score 20+ goals in a season, but if that player has some consistency over say, 2 seasons or 3 seasons then we are into the realms of the £40 million or 60 million or more as we see today. I guess there is also an age factor as well, younger means more potential to be consistent over several seasons, and then of course, they need to stay injury free.
Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule. Neymar is not going to score 20 goals plus for another 10 years! Neither is Messi, or Coutinho, but for sure they will command silly money as we have seen, so there is a bracket of player with the X factor that will cost ridiculous amounts, however, on average in today’s market, I think we could safely say, the cost per goal is around £1 million and for consistency it is 2-3 times that figure.
So, how about NUFC and our strikers? What can we expect realistically?
We paid around £5 million for Joselu and I think the best we can expect from him is going to be 5-7 goals this season. Any more is a plus and any less is underperformance.
Gayle we paid I think around £12 million but that was in the Championship, and he will most likely fall short of providing 12 goals this season. He proved himself very well in the Championship, and I think he is at that level.
Mitrovic was, I think, around £13-14 million or so, and following the argument, he should be able to provide a good 13-15 goals in a season, (assuming he plays!), but he is not getting the game time to do that for whatever reason.
Perez around £1 million, so whilst we criticise him sometimes, he is consistently giving us more than his worth back in goals, albeit only 5 this season so far. This could be why Rafa keeps him in the team.
As we look to find a new striker, (I hope!), capable of keeping us in the premiership this season we must have realistic expectations and pay the going rate to get a consistent, 15-20 goal a season striker and I do not see this happening in this window. Every team with expectations of being in the top half should have at least 1 striker capable of 15-20 goals regularly season after season. We don’t have that right now, and under Ashley, sadly, I just don’t see us getting it unless, by accident, we discover a gem like Mahrez or Vardy for little money and big reward. This is also very unlikely.
Where does this leave us? Struggling in the bottom half and super reliant on a manager that must try to get all our strikers to over achieve. The message should be clear to our owner, whoever that ends up being. Pay what it takes!
Pay at least £15-20 million and get us that rarity – a striker that will return 15-20 goals in a season and keep us up where we belong, in the premiership.