The main transfer speculation surrounding Newcastle United, is whether Moussa Sissoko and/or Gini Wijnaldum will leave.
Previous claims that Newcastle want a minimum of £20m for each of them provoked a lot of laughs amongst United fans, whilst the latest reports are that Spurs have been told that they can have Wijnaldum if they part with £25m, news which will only add to the levels of amusement.
However, is there not a case to be made for the Newcastle midfielder maybe even being too cheap at £25m?
Signed for £14.5m a year ago after being named the Dutch league’s player of the season, Wijnaldum has then gone on to score 11 goals and grab five assists in his first ever Premier League season.
What’s more, whilst four of those goals were against relegated Norwich, the other seven were against sides who finished in the top half of the table – West Ham, Chelsea, Southampton, Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs (x2).
Then you also have to factor in the fact that he did all of this playing for a team that struggled all season and was eventually relegated – just how many goals and assists could Wijnaldum have got playing for a decent Premier League team?
Whilst it is harder to value the ‘unseen’ work from Moussa Sissoko that produces his valuation, in the absence of goals and assists, surely the facts speak for themselves on the former PSV Captain?
Sadio Mane recently joined Liverpool in a deal that could end up costing the scousers £34m, got the same amount of league goals last season and only one more assist – this for a team who finished sixth playing attacking football, not the negative rubbish we watched for 28 matches under Steve McClaren.
You also have to include in your thinking that Sadio Mane will miss a sizeable chunk of football in the middle of the season due to the African Cup of Nations finals.
Wijnaldum is also in form for his country, scoring four goals in his last nine starts (plus four as sub).
Considering that the valuation of all players has rocketed due to the extra £600m+ Premier League clubs will have to spend this year, when added to all the other factors above, Wijnaldum is surely a player that should be in demand.
At only 25 he has plenty of peak seasons left in his career and that old Mike Ashley favourite, a possibly even bigger resale value in the coming years for anybody who bought him.
The only real subject of interest for Newcastle fans, is then who would Rafa Benitez target if he did bank £25m for Wijnaldum?
The reality on prices is that players who can score and create goals will always attract a premium and just imagine what Wijnaldum could be capable of if he starts turning up for away games…