Anyone who suffers from being compared to Andrea Pirlo has some hefty expectations to deal with. Even with the label of a "Young Pirlo" accompanying his every move, Marco Verratti has been breaking free from the shadow that the expectation casts.
Since his move from Pescara to PSG last summer, Verratti has shown why he was highly rated in Italy. His move to France at the age of 19 had many in Italy cursing his name. How could one of Italy's own leave for PSG when Juventus and others were waiting with open arms?
Many felt the move was all about the financial juggernaut in Paris and their ability to outbid everybody, but the Verratti transfer was nothing like the audacious bid for Lucas Moura. At a reported €12 million transfer fee, this young star was purchased at a fair market price. It is funny how a mere 6 months can change things, as anyone interested in Verratti's services are now going to have to come with their checkbook open.
Football-Italia.net has quoted PSG club director Leonardo as valuing the midfielder's services at over €30m. The report was quoting Leonardo's comments to Tuttosport in which he said:
“We all believe in Verratti here,” “We have no intention of selling him."
“There is no chance of any club signing him, especially as he is now worth no less than €30m or €40m…”
Football-Italia also mentions in the report that Verratti's agent may soon be negotiating a pay raise. This is a case of the rich seemingly getting richer, but if anyone came with a €30 million offer for Verratti, would it really surprise anyone?
When he completed his transfer to PSG, Verratti was a footnote in the aftermath of the Ibrahimovic/Silva transfer. He was viewed as a great addition for the future. From the moment he stepped onto the field, however, Verratti staked his claim to a starting spot in a crowded midfield. His future was now.
He has proven time and again this season that he is one of the strongest young talents in the game. He has accomplished this while playing an important role in Champions League clashes. As with any young player, there are still several aspects of his game that need work. What better environment to work on it then with Ibrahimovic, Beckham and Silva?
When his time in Paris is done and we look back at Verratti's development as a player, we will say €12 million was an absolute steal, especially when it is compared to the amount he commands in his next transfer.