Last week when Real Madrid were reportedly sniffing around Alonso, the fee being mentioned in the press was £20m or thereabouts. Yesterday, Michael Carrick went for £18.6m. Even allowing for the fact that English players tend to cost more, if Carrick is worth that, then that would surely value Xabi at an amount that even a certain billionaire Russian crook would have to take out a second mortgage to afford. I’ve heard Carrick described as a ‘poor man’s’ Alonso. That’s being kind. He’s more of a ‘homeless bum, drinking windolene, begging for change and eating from bin’s’ Xabi Alonso. The way the transfer market is these days, there seems to be two prices for players. The normal price, and the Chelsea price. Generally, a players value doubles when Chelsea want them, largely because clubs know that a) they can afford it, and b) they don’t really care how much they pay, and c) well, they can afford it.
Mad Alex had a moan at the weekend about Chelsea and their spending, accusing them of always paying over the odds and congratulating himself for only paying £1m for Cantona all those years ago. His actual quotes were: “If you look at us signing Eric Cantona for £1 million — and I think this is probably the best way to do it — and how much you’re seeing centre forwards like Shevchenko going for, you have to ask yourself this: is Shevchenko 35 times better than Cantona?” Why do we have to ask ourselves “is Shevchenko 35 times better than Cantona?” Can we not ask “is Juan Sebastian Veron 30 times better than Cantona?”
To be fair, we all talk shite when we’re pissed and chances are he was sloshed when he said that (I’m not exactly going out on a limb there let’s face it), but even allowing for that it’s still laughable that he can accuse Chelsea of paying too much for players and ruining football, and then go out and pay the ‘Chelsea price’ for Carrick, a decent player who even on his best day is worth no more than £10m at the very most. Spurs must be pissing themselves at this deal, I know I am.
Xabi Alonso – £10.5m. Momo Sissoko – £5.5m. Michael Carrick – £18.6m. Rafa Benitez – priceless.