€40 million is a steep transfer price for a defensive midfielder, no matter how talented, young and full of potential the player is.
That's why the news of Bayern Munich's signing of 23-year-old Javi Martinez is likely at least a little disconcerting (via ESPN):
Bayern Munich signed midfielder Javi Martinez from Athletic Bilbao in the richest transfer in the 50-year history of the Bundesliga.
Athletic Bilbao's resistance to give up their young star had a big part in driving up the price, which has caused everyone to scream "overpay."
Not so fast.
Bayern Munich Ain't Stupid
Here's a fun fact:
Bayern has been in the black—its ownership has made money—for 19 straight years (via Reuters' Keith Weir). By comparison, top English clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City were in the red by hundreds of millions of dollars during the last financial year.
Yikes. I would say FCB's ownership knows exactly what it's doing.
The Bavarians—much like many other clubs in the Bundesliga—see most of their talent come from Germany. For the most part, they are homegrown and as a result, they are able to roster some of the top players in the world for relatively cheap.
Every once in a while, German squads will go out and buy someone like Javi Martinez, but there's a reason you don't see as many transfers in the Bundesliga as you do in the EPL.
German squads, and Bayern Munich especially, can afford to overpay every once in a while.
Is €40 million a lot of money? Of course it is. Is it too much for Javi Martinez? Yeah, probably. But is the fee actually going to cost that much?
According to chairman Karl-Heinze Rummenigge (via ESPN), Martinez will be "giving up a large chunk of his salary."
Essentially, Martinez is taking a pay cut each week in order to help pay for his own transfer fee. Now ask yourself, is that a player you want at Allianz Arena?
He's Kind of Good, Too
Even if the financial situation was crappy, as initially believed, who cares? Martinez is 23 and has displayed loads of talent and potential.
The Spanish international, who has already logged time with the national squad, has been incredibly reliable for Bilbao, tallying 22 goals, six assists, countless tackles, runs and pretty balls in over 200 La Liga appearances.
Pairing him next to Bastian Schweinsteiger in the defensive midfield is almost a little unfair.
Overpaying for a player is always hard to swallow for fans, but an overpayment that puts Bayern back in the driver's seat in the Bundesliga and makes them a good bet to repeat 2011's Champions League success is more than worth it.