The Most Overvalued Players of 2019
Every year transfer fees increase and often they can seem truly ridiculous. Here we will take a quick look at some of the most outlandish valuations of 2019.
Neymar – £446 Million
Speaking a couple of weeks ago, Paris Saint-Germain’s sporting director Leonardo said, “Neymar can leave PSG if there is an offer that suits everyone.” However, the chances of this seem very slim. Paying €222 million for him in 2017 was ridiculous, but to then ask for €500 million after two years, two titles, two Champions League last-16 exits, numerous controversies and one unresolved rape allegation is completely insane.
Over the last couple of seasons Neymar has missed more Ligue Un games (39) than he has played in (38) and he has only taken part in one of four possible Champions League knockout fixtures. When Neymar was unveiled he promised to “conquer the titles that their fans want”, something he has failed to do. It is entirely understandable why PSG may want to cut ties with the player, but it seems unlikely that any team will agree to their asking price.
Sean Longstaff – £50 Million
In June 2018, it was reported that Sean Longstaff was due to join Portsmouth on loan. Longstaff had been impressive during time with Blackpool and Kilmarnock, and the League One promotion hopefuls had reached ‘an agreement in principle’ to sign the midfielder. Longstaff had not yet made a single Newcastle first-team match-day squad in any competition, and this was another chance for him to prove his worth.
Rafael Benitez then decided to veto the move based upon Longstaff’s pre-season performances and now there are suggestions that the team will be holding out for more than £50 million based upon just eight Premier League starts one year later. Newcastle’s inability to sign a midfielder, their uncertainty about Isaac Hayden’s future, and injuries to Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame, have pushed the team into this ridiculous overvaluation while only Manchester United have displayed any interest in the player.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – £107.6 Million
The only possible reason that Lazio president Claudio Lotito thinks that Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is worth €120 million is that he has already forgotten last season.
There was a time when the request would not have seemed so unreasonable. At the end of last season, the midfielder had scored more than all but eight players as a 23-year-old often placed in a relatively reserved central midfield role.
The World Cup was meant to give him the chance to prosper and come into the limelight. However, it actually seems to be where his problems started. He started all three games when Serbia were knocked out in the group stage and he then went on to score seven goals and assist three in 41 matches in all competitions for his club. During the season he was described by fans as a fake talent looking for cash, and while he ended the season with a decisive goal in the Coppa Italia final, even that was from the bench.
Wilfried Zaha – £120 Million
There is something of a battle going on between Crystal Palace and Arsenal over Wilfried Zaha. While Palace hold all the cards, he is their player, the £120 million they are asking Arsenal for him seems excessive to say the least.
However, there is a good chance that they have knowingly and deliberately over valuated the player. It is mean to be a challenge. They know that the only people interested in signing Zaha have a budget of £40 million, but Palace have no desire to sell him under any circumstance, so they have deliberately asked for three times what Arsenal can afford.
Harry Maguire – £100 Million
It wasn’t until Liverpool signed the excellent Virgil van Dijk for £75 million that many other clubs seemed to realise the importance of investing in an excellent centre-half. The 11 most expensive transfers ever were forwards or midfielders, and the only defensive players in the top 24 are Van Dijk, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Theo Hernandez.
However, just because there is a new focus on signing defenders, it does not mean that clubs can ask for huge amounts. Maguire has three years of Premier League experience, but one relegation. He may have reached the World cup semi-final, but he was at least partially responsible for England’s defensive weaknesses. He has four years left on his contract with Leicester City, and this does boost his value, but he earns around £80,000 a week, not much in comparison to Jesse Lingard. While there is some justification for an official valuation of more than £75 million, it is still difficult to stomach.
Marko Grujic – £34.7 Million
Back in the January 2016 transfer window, just before Steven Caulker was brought in from QPR as Jurgen Klopp’s first signing at Liverpool, the team bought the little known Marko Grujic from Red Star Belgrade for just over £5 million and then sent him straight back on loan.
His last appearance for Liverpool was back in December 2017, while his total of 52 Premier League minutes have come from 14 games. However, he has had productive spells on loan at Cardiff City and Hertha Berlin, where he will return next season, and this has reportedly left Jurgen Klopp impressed and asking for almost seven times more than was paid for Grujic three years ago. Liverpool have sold just four players for more than £34.7m; even Xabi Alonso was sold to Real Madrid for less.
Adam Webster – £30 Million
The largest fee ever paid to a Championship club was the £30 million paid by Tottenham Hotspur in 2016 to Newcastle for Moussa Sissoko. At the time, Spurs were mocked for paying so much and only recently has the player proved his worth. However, Sissoko had a huge amount of Ligue Un experience and had spent more than two seasons in the Premier League. He was also a respected France international who had helped the team reach the Euro 2016 final that summer.
Conversely, the only premier division Adam Webster has spent time in is the Conference with Aldershot five years ago. His last game for the national team was with England’s U19s six years ago and he has limited international tournament experience. Bristol City are perfectly within their rights to ask for £30 million for their player of the year. However, the fee would mean that the joint eleventh most expensive centre-half in Premier League history has never played in any top flight.
Marcos Rojo – £25 Million
Recently it was reported in the press that Manchester United are struggling to find a buyer for Marcos Rojo after valuing the Argentina international at £25 million. This is hardly surprising considering that Rojo is 29 years old and has started just one game in six months under the current manager. He has failed to impress at any time during his five years with the team and it is not clear why United think he is now worth a fee rise of more than 50%.
Ryan Sessegnon – £40 Million
Ryan Sessegnon had never been more respected than at the end of last season. He was being considered for a place in England’s World Cup squad. He was the first Championship player ever to be nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, and the 18 year old had helped inspire Fulham to promotion to the Premier League.
At the time, a £40 million valuation seemed reasonable to many. However, he had a highly underwhelming first season in the Premier League. Added to this are Fulham’s need to rebuild after relegation and the fact that Sessegnon has just one year left on his contract. Realistically his price should have fallen and the fact that Spurs refuse to go above £25 million and that there is not much other interest in signing him shows this to be true.
Tyrone Mings – £20 Million
In 2015, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe celebrated the team’s promotion to the Premier League by signing “a player of huge potential”. At the time, there is no way he could have predicted the path that Tyrone Mings would follow over the next four years. Last season was the first time in which the defender reached double figures for appearances since he left Ipswich in 2015, and 18 of his 25 games were during a four-month loan at Aston Villa.
In his first season a serious knee injury meant that he could play just twice. The aftershock of this saw him feature just nine times in the next season. During the 2017/18 season back problems meant he could play in just five matches, and then he had a few forgettable appearances in the first half of last season.
Back in 2015 Bournemouth signed a good Championship left back for £8 million. They are now trying to sell a solid Championship centre half for £20 million. In effect, they bought a good player, grew frustrated with him, under used him, and are now hoping to almost treble their money.