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Opinion

What can £90m get you these days?

2 years ago
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Manchester United paid around £90m for Paul Pogba last summer, a new World Record transfer fee.

That has helped them to a guaranteed sixth place in the Premier League with one game to go, 24 points behind champions Chelsea.

If you want to go for a really impressive figure, the two Manchester clubs have spent well over £1billlion between them in the past four years.

Manchester United £157m (2016/17), £133m (15/16), £166m (14/15), £66m (13/14) and Manchester City £181m (2016/17), £180m (15/16), £75m (14/15) and £99m (13/14) – (all figures via transfermarkt.co.uk).

That level of spending is of course beyond Newcastle United, even if they had an owner who wanted to add extra investment in the transfer market.

Figures such as Pogba’s crazy transfer fee for a player who usually looks little more than quite good, has led some Newcastle fans to go in the other direction, with claims Rafa Benitez will be able to find all bargains (under £10m) to significantly improve his Championship squad.

The fact that the Newcastle Manager felt the need to bring in £13m Matt Ritchie and £10m Dwight Gayle to get out of the Championship (to go with £14m signing Jonjo Shelvey etc), tells you that this budget ‘plan’ isn’t realistic.

Basically, Rafa Benitez needs to be given an open shopping trolley rather than an open cheque book, the freedom to shop around at different levels with a certain budget to spend as he sees fit.

This summer, all being well, we can envisage everything from loan signings and even out of contract signings, right through to £20m+ players bought in.

Alan Shearer proved over 20 years ago that spending £15m, even back then, could also be a bargain.

When bringing players in, it simply has to be all about what value they can give to the team/squad next season and potentially moving forward. A bit like buying a house to live in, rather than simply treading water before you hope to sell at a profit.

Football of course is a team sport before anything else and it is all about getting 11 players coming together as a unit, as a far greater priority than feeling the need to pay £xxx for a player.

However, not spending realistic money would take Newcastle United on a road to nowhere.

Rafa Benitez is on a longer-term project, allowed to bring in his own players who knows where we can end up.

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