The two biggest faces to join La Liga this summer are none other than Neymar and Gareth Bale. Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid broke the bank to bring these two prolific forwards to Spain, and both will be hoping that their expensive new signing pays off.
Neymar and Bale are two completely different players, but they were both brought to their new clubs to do basically the same job.
Both attackers are prolific goal scorers who have tremendous pace and the ability to change a match. It is the fact that they are two of the best forwards in the game that demanded such high transfer fees in the first place.
When it comes to transfers and spending money, clubs have to pick their battles and try to get the very best value they can.
Neymar and Bale are both incredible footballers. They will have big seasons at their new clubs and will likely earn back every piece of their transfer fees. But who will prove to be the best purchase?
When looking at the facts surrounding their transfers and what they will accomplish this season, Neymar looks like the best value out of the two.
The issue comes down to both price paid and how much the clubs needed the player. Those two factors make the Neymar purchase a no-brainer, while the Bale deal leaves many scratching their heads.
When trying to determine who gets the best value for their money, the transfer fee is always the biggest factor. Barcelona and Real Madrid determined that these players were worth massive fees, but Neymar clearly came out as the best deal.
Neymar made his move from Brazil to Barcelona for a reported transfer fee of €57 million, according to Goal.com.
Looking at that number alone, it’s easy to think that the Catalans overpaid for a player who has yet to prove himself in Europe. However, you can actually say that Barcelona got Neymar cheaply compared to other purchases this summer.
It may have been a lot of money, but Barcelona did conduct good business and got the player they wanted.
Gareth Bale later joined Real Madrid for €100 million, as reported by the Daily Mirror, breaking the world record for the most expensive transfer in football history. Not only did he cost a massive chunk of change, he was roughly twice the price of Neymar.
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell told TV3 in an article reported by ESPN that “I wouldn’t have paid €100 million [for Bale]. Barcelona cannot allow that. If we pay €100 million, people would go crazy.”
Though Rosell does not see Bale as being worth the world record fee, Real Madrid did. Each club is only willing to pay as much as they think the player is actually worth.
In fact, no club really ever “over pays” for a player. They always pay exactly what the player is worth to them in their eyes. But outsiders see it in a much different light.
By just looking at the money spent it is very easy to say Neymar was a much better deal. But transfers and value do not rely solely on price.
A player’s value is directly tied into how important they are to the club. In this case it is important to look at the two players and determine if the clubs really needed a player that cost such a huge amount of money.
Allow me to bluntly say that Barcelona did not need Neymar to be successful this season, and nor did Real Madrid need Gareth Bale either.
But both were seen by the clubs as necessary and therefore demanded a big fee in order to make sure that they got their man. So which player was needed more?
Due to Barcelona’s over-reliance on Lionel Messi over the last few years the Catalan club desperately needed another scorer. They also needed someone who could take the pressure off Messi and command attention as well.
Looking at those facts, the Neymar purchase makes a lot sense.
The Brazilian will ease the load Messi carries every match and be a more than capable secondary scorer. The fee may have been high, but in return Barcelona got a player that will fix many of their offensive problems.
However, Real Madrid has been one of the most dominant attacking clubs in recent seasons led by Cristiano Ronaldo.
It is true that last season Real Madrid’s strikers struggled for much of the year, leading many to believe that the club needed to purchase a new No. 9. But that is not what happened.
Los Blancos did bring in a more than capable scorer in Gareth Bale, but he is also someone who will not feature as a striker. Bale is much more of a winger, but his favorite position happens to be where Ronaldo currently sits in the lineup.
Looking at the Bale purchase by position, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Real Madrid could have spent a lot less for a striker they needed. Yet they chose to go with Bale, who will bring goals but not from where they are needed.
Both Neymar and Bale will have big seasons in Spain. But at this point the Neymar purchase again looks like the best value because Barcelona received something they really needed in return.
The new La Liga duo certainly have a lot of pressure on their shoulders though.
Neymar is looking to prove to the critics that he is one of the best in the world by bringing his dominant Brazilian form to Europe.
Gareth Bale will also look to prove that his world-record transfer fee was money well spent and that he is truly the player that the last 18 months suggests that he is.
It is unfair to claim that one player has less pressure than the other, but it is certain that they both will have to prove a lot this season to justify their transfer fees.
In a report from Insidespanishfootball.com, Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos recently told the press that, “The price is set by the market.” What he is saying is very true. But it should also be mentioned that value is set by the buyer.
Barcelona and Real Madrid got the man they wanted for a price they were willing to pay. In their eyes they got wonderful value for their money. But not everyone sees these deals through the eyes of the clubs.
Both players will achieve much in their Spanish careers, but if we are to compare both transfers there really is no question. Barcelona got the better value in Neymar.
Not only did the Brazilian cost half the price of Bale, but he was someone the club needed. Bale may be one of the best players on the planet, but clubs shouldn’t break the bank for a player they do not need.
Neymar is not only the better value at this point; he will also prove to be the better purchase down the road as well.
The Brazilian has the talent to pay back Barcelona for the fee they paid for him. However, when you set a record with the purchase of Bale you are claiming that you are buying the best.
Though Bale will have a wonderful and very successful career at Real Madrid it is hard to believe that he will pay the club back for €100 million. Having the title of the most expensive footballer in history on your head is a tough load to carry and there are very few players who could handle that.
It does not matter who has the better season or which club is the most successful. If you look at these two purchases on their own, what you see is a club working to get the best deal for a player that will really help, while the other was fine to pay whatever price for someone they did not even need.
Fans from both clubs will see these deals in their own ways. So why don’t you tell me who you think the better value is and why in the comment section below.
Who is the better value? Was Gareth Bale really worth the world record price tag? Will Neymar flop in Europe? Leave your thoughts and comments below!
Tre’ Atkinson. Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on all things Spanish football.