Whilst the extra millions pumped into the Premier League courtesy of worldwide TV rights has proved a god send for many of the division’s sides, the vastly inflated transfer fees that have proceeded it has boggled the minds of many a spectator/student of the game.
Just 5 years ago £70m would get you the worlds finest player for their particular position, a proven star at that, now it seems such vast sums are being paid to young wonderkids. Consider Liverpool and there attempts to sign Leipzig’s Naby Keita for around that fee.
A star for the German sides title charge last season, the Guinea born centre midfielder has grabbed the attention of much Europes elite clubs. Described as a complete midfielder with exemplary technical ability, the central lynch pin has seemingly got Reds fans, and indeed Jurgen Klopp, purring having exhibited a frightening ability to launch quick powerful attacks for his side. Attributes not doubt fitting nicely into the German coah’s Gegenpressing style.
Indeed, one former Liverpool Champions League winner has been keen to chime in with his very own superlatives when speaking to the Liverpool Echo.
Having been able to keep up an eye on Keita from the luxury of a Sky Germany studio, the former Newcastle United defensive midfielder compared him to a fellow midfielder who revolutionised the English game;
“I knew about him before he signed for Leipzig from Salzburg as he was one of the most highly rated young players in the Austrian league.
I saw him quite a lot last season and he had an outstanding season. He made a big impression in the Bundesliga.
Signing for a promoted side, no-one knew what to expect and he was under the radar for a lot of people. But in the second half of the season, everyone knew about him and still couldn’t stop him. Leipzig were the closest challengers to Bayern Munich and he had a huge impact.
He reminds me of N’Golo Kante. I’m not sure he wins quite as many balls as Kante, but in terms of technical ability and getting involved further forward he’s more gifted than Kante.
A star in the making
With the heavily funded Leipzig holding the player under contract, many potential suitors have been put off by the players €75 million (£66m) asking price, Liverpool no doubt see a potential Steven Gerrard replacement in the fleet feet of the unproven 22-year old. With the player costing the Merseysiders the majority of their summer transfer kitty, the player still represents a hell of a risk with the squad still looking bare ahead of a tough Champions League and Premier League assault.