World Football

Adam Lallana and 18 Potential Overpriced Summer Transfers

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 19, 2014

Adam Lallana and 18 Potential Overpriced Summer Transfers

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Adam Lallana looks set to lead a flock of overpriced transfers in the 2014 summer window.

    The 2014 FIFA World Cup will play its usual part in inflating fees for star players, and while the top clubs are forced to pay top dollar, prudent teams will be scratching around for bargains and free transfers.

    Here, B/R runs through 18 players who will likely change hands for a price far too generous. Be aware, this is not a list of "overrated" or "overhyped" players, merely those who appear to have moved into a price bracket they don't quite belong to.

Adam Lallana

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    The rumour

    According to the Expressamong others, Adam Lallana will cost Liverpool, Manchester United or any other suitor around £25 million this summer.

    A strong 2014 FIFA World Cup from the England star could drive the price even further skyward, and a poor one will not damage his stock.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    Many forget Lallana is already 26 years of age. He's peaked, it's highly unlikely that he'll get any better and he's not worth £25 million. Southampton are entitled (and encouraged) to get all they can for him, but Brendan Rodgers should not be interested at that price.

Gary Medel

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    The rumour

    Cardiff City have confirmed Gary Medel can leave the club this summer, with Sky Sports carrying quotes from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggesting he's too good for the second tier.

    He'll captain Chile at the 2014 FIFA World Cup...then come home to play in the Championship.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    While it's unclear what Gary Medel's exit clause is, it's unlikely to be too far south of the £15 million the Bluebirds paid for him last summer.

    Given the Chilean's limited playing style—he's a midfield destroyer capable of dropping in, but creatively he's capped—he won't be worth the same price to many other clubs.

Yannick Bolasie

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    The rumour

    Sky Sports has confirmed Yannick Bolasie is to talk a new deal over with Crystal Palace. The DR Congo international is entering the final 12 months of his contract at Selhurst Park and is being courted by suitors both domestic and abroad.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    For Palace to sell, you'd have to hand over at least £5 million for Bolasie. 

    His production improved over the second half of the season, and Tony Pulis trusts him to make the difference with the ball at his feet. But even Yannick Bolasie doesn't know what Yannick Bolasie is going to do next.

Jack Rodwell

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    The rumour

    Several clubs, including Everton, are interested in ending Jack Rodwell's Manchester City nightmare, according to the MirrorThe Daily Mail has credited Newcastle United with a strong interest too.

    The box-to-box midfielder has impressed whilst on the pitch but has only managed to make nine starts in two years due to injury troubles.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    In typical Manchester City style, Rodwell cost £12 million—far more than he was worth at the time.

    His value has only dropped given the torrents of injuries he's sustained, and his weekly wage isn't exactly small either. He's a big, big gamble for anyone who takes him permanently.

Jackson Martinez

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    The rumour

    For the past year, Jackson Martinez has been linked with £30 million moves all over Europe.

    ESPN had him going to Chelsea, The Guardian linked him to Arsenal and the Express reckons Internazionale are involved.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    Martinez is a very good striker, a complete target man who can lead the line and fits perfectly into 2014's version of top-flight football.

    He is, however, overpriced at £30 million, and it's no surprise given his current club is FC Porto—the masters of extracting exorbitant fees from gullible European counterparts.

Tom Cleverley

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    The rumour

    Roberto Martinez is tempted to end Tom Cleverley's nightmare by snaring him for £8 million, as per The Times.

    The central midfielder has a reputation for recycling possession of the ball well and could benefit from Everton's style of play.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    Cleverley had a horrific season in which he moved from 2012-13 Premier League title winner to 2013-14 official scapegoat of Manchester United football club.

    His confidence has been floored, there are millions doubting he can even kick a ball, and, while the latter is nothing short of ridiculous, he's not the safest £8 million you can spend.

Nani

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    The rumour

    Nani expects to leave Manchester United this summer, and according to Sky Sports, his agent is sounding out potential landing spots.

    Said landing spots are supposedly in Serie A, with Juventus and Fiorentina at the head of the queue.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    In one of the most mysterious footballing moves last season, David Moyes agreed to give Nani a new five-year contract at Manchester United, as per BBC Sport.

    The Portuguese winger has been underwhelming for years and played just eight times this season; suggestions that the club will recoup around £15-18 million are unrealistic to say the least, and his wages are gargantuan.

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel

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    The rumour

    As yet, no clubs have picked up the phone and asked how much Ricky van Wolfswinkel will cost. There's a very good reason for that, but regardless, Norwich City will try and find a buyer for their expensive summer flop.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    According to Sporting's official records, Van Wolfswinkel cost Norwich €10 million up front with €2 million in add-ons. To sell, the Canaries will want as much of that back as possible.

    After a shockingly poor Premier League campaign in which the Dutchman scored just one goal, there isn't a club on earth silly enough to pay for his services.

Rickie Lambert

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    The rumour

    West Ham United tested Southampton's resolve in January with a £5 million bid for Rickie Lambert, as per the Mirror

    It was declined, and they backed off, but Sam Allardyce loves the Lambert mould of striker and will be searching for players to help take the strain off Andy Carroll.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    Lambert is headed to Brazil, so this might sound odd, but as an athlete he's declining in every month that goes by. He's a phenomenal technician and aggressive in the air, but his pace has dried up, and he's very one-dimensional.

    At 32 years of age, clubs would be foolish to improve upon West Ham's £5 million offer based on any potential success at the World Cup.

Eliaquim Mangala

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    The rumour

    Eliaquim Mangala nearly joined Manchester City in January and will choose between them and Chelsea this summer, according to The Guardian.

    He's made a name for himself as a tough, towering defender in the Liga Sagres and will back up Laurent Koscielny and Raphael Varane at this summer's World Cup.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    He is nowhere close to the finished article, and he's still relatively fresh to the scene. With a purported price of £35 million, footballing accountants everywhere should have watery eyes.

    He might be worth that some day in the future, but staking so much on him now isn't wise.

Fabio Borini

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    The rumour

    Sunderland want Fabio Borini permanently, as per the Mirror, after he played the part of hero in their dramatic Premier League survival campaign. The Italian worked hard, scored crucial goals and inspired his teammates to make it over the line.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    Borini cost Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool £10.5 million in 2012, and while he underwhelmed in a Reds shirt initially, his campaign at Sunderland has been a success.

    That'll prompt Liverpool to ask for the full fee back (with a little on top perhaps) in return for his services, and he can't be considered worthy of that—especially when the Black Cats have other, more pressing needs.

    He's good, but he's not £10 million-plus good.

Javi Garcia

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    Que?
    Que?Francois Nel/Getty Images

    The rumour

    The Daily Mail, via the Manchester Evening News, believes Javi Garcia could be sold to raise funds for new recruits this summer.

    He's proven to be rather average in deputising for Yaya Toure and Fernandinho, and he has failed to make a sustained impact despite joining two years ago.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    Manchester Evening News has confirmed Man City will be limited to a £49 million net spent this summer as they work to get under the financial fair play regulations.

    That means they will need to sell, and Javi Garcia cost them £15 million during the Roberto Mancini era. He's worth £6 million maximum.

     

William Carvalho

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    Armando Franca/Associated Press

    The rumour

    The Express believes Manchester United, Liverpool and AS Monaco are all interested in William Carvalho for a fee of approximately £30-35 million.

    The talented young Portuguese midfielder has been named in Paulo Bento's 30-man squad for the World Cup and is expected to start in Brazil ahead of Miguel Veloso.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    He's played one season of competitive football, and while he looks like the real deal, spending £35 million on a player with such a limited sample size is a big, big risk.

    The wise move is to let him complete a second season in the Liga Sagres, watch him in the 2014-15 Champions League and then make a decision.

Alou Diarra

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    The rumour

    Alou Diarra has been trying to escape West Ham United for over a year, and he told L'Equipe, via Sky Sports, this year that he's hopeful of securing a move away soon.

    The Frenchman started every game in the heart of his nation's midfield at Euro 2012.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    Despite Diarra being available on a free transfer, he's a shadow of the man who Laurent Blanc trusted in Poland and Ukraine two years ago.

    He's torn his ACL and barely played for the Hammers, he couldn't oust the first-teamers even when he was fit and, critically, he's on £60,000 per week. He'll take a drop in wage, but it won't be to the sort of realm clubs should be interested in.

Wilfried Bony

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    The rumour

    According to the Mirror, Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool are all showing an interest in Wilfried Bony of Swansea City.

    The Ivorian had a brilliant debut Premier League campaign, looked fantastic in linkup play and scored 16 league goals to boot.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    Bony is a good player, and he came 39th in our Premier League 100 for that reason. But consider the fact that he cost £12 million last summer from Vitesse in the Eredivisie, add in the fact that he's now "proven" and ask what his price tag will be.

    Our guess? North of £18 million. And while he's good, he's not quite that good.

Wilfried Zaha

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    Rui Vieira/Associated Press

    The rumour

    As per the Daily Mail, Wilfried Zaha is a target for Newcastle United and Alan Pardew.

    The Manchester United winger has barely featured since moving to Old Trafford and looks raw, untidy and erratic when on the pitch.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    Zaha can go one of two ways: superstar or flop of the decade.

    The £15 million Sir Alex Ferguson staked on him was an investment, but he's not been around to ensure the player comes good on it. If Newcastle want him permanently, they'll be stumping up more than £10 million for a player who is still Championship standard.

David Luiz

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    The rumour

    According to ESPN, David Luiz has "agreed" a £30 million move to Barcelona this summer.

    The Times has suggested the new Barcelona manager—touted to be Luis Enrique—will have to sign off on the deal first, and with the World Cup looming it's possible any announcements will be delayed for over a month.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    David Luiz is the footballing equivalent of Marmite: You either love him or you hate him.

    Whatever your feelings on the player, you'd be hard-pressed to argue he's worth £30 million, though, and he's been kept out of the Chelsea side all year by safer, more disciplined players.

    Luiz and Gerard Pique as a pairing...

Luis Suarez

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    Clint Hughes/Associated Press

    The rumour

    If Luis Suarez leaves Liverpool in the next two years—and there's no reason he would given Champions League football has been restored to the club's calendar—then he'll break the world transfer record.

    The Daily Mail has him at £100 million, but John Henry will point to his impact (31 league goals) and ask for another £50 million on top at least.

     

    Why he's overpriced

    Football transfer values have elevated into levels of absurdity, and no player on earth should be worth more than £100 million.

    Liverpool will bleed Real Madrid's coffers dry if they want the Uruguayan's signature; he'll cost the same as four other world-class players.

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