Southampton shoot themselves in the foot

Southampton are at it again. They seem to have lost touch with all forms of reality. Their suggestion for a Schneiderlin fee, in excess of £27 million (€34.11m),  is drawn straight from fantasy land,

Spurs target Morgan Schneiderlin


Toni Kroos was only £24 million (€30.32m) and he has a trophy laden cabinet including a World Cup winners medal, Luka Modric was £30 million (€37.90m) and he was arguably Real Madrid's best player last season. Schneiderlin has 2 French caps, that's it. Transfermarkt value Schneiderlin at £7.48 million (€9.45m), I appreciate their valuations are low but not three and a half times below.

You can understand it, the player has been told he has to leave Southampton to continue playing international football so naturally he wants to leave, having put in years of service. His repayment is an astronomical fee basically to say he is not for sale, we don't care about his international career, we only care about Southampton.

Fair enough, nothing wrong with that view, we have adequate cover in that area of the field, but it send out a clear message to all players and their agents, don't go to Southampton because you'll find it difficult to get out again.

It's not just a Southampton thing though, Marouane Fellaini went for an absurd £27.5 million (€34.74m) fee, once again to the club that loves to overpay for a player, Manchester United and of course that hopeless defender David Luiz went for an equally absurd £50 million (€63.17m), Fernando Torres the same and like Fellaini totally flopped.

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These players are not marketing tools in the way Gareth Bale is. With a player with worldwide popularity like Bale you are paying for the footballer and then you are paying for the commercial side he brings with him.

Players of that nature can command any fee because marketing gets it back but players with no marketing value like Schneiderlin are simply footballers and priced accordingly. I was chatting to an Everton fan on Twitter and he was of the same view with James McCarthy being said to be worth £25 million (€31.50m), it's daft money, things are getting out of hand.

Sandro before his injury was statistically one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe which means he would have been worth in excess of £30 million (€37.90m), well he isn't worth that, no defensive midfielder is. Napoli value him at £8.5 million (€10.74m) which is about half his true value, Schneiderlin is a £15 million (€18.95m) player at best. The game needs some sanity.

Agents are not stupid, yes they get the best deal for their clients, but they also plan careers. They move their clients to a club in the Premier League for instance to prove themselves and then look for a European club before taking the final step to a Champions League club, sometimes they can miss out the European club step all together.

It's getting to the point where more and more agents are going to have to start inserting buyout clauses into contracts when first moving to Premier League mid table teams or be very careful which club they send their clients to. Southampton is becoming a very unattractive club simply because of transfer fees when a player wants to make a step up.

If you have the choice of Swansea who will slap a £20 million (€25.27m) fee on you or Southampton who will slap £27 million (€34.11m), then for your career it has to be Swansea all day. When the time comes to move up a grade you want as many clubs interested in your client as possible and that will be with the lesser fee.

It's a short term gain policy that is shooting yourself in the foot but it's Schneiderlin you have to feel sorry for, having been told he has to play European football he is going to be stuck at a club without it and without much chance of getting it. His dreams of playing at Euro 2016 could well be about to go up in smoke.

It will be a huge surprise if his agent now allows him to sign a new contract without a get out clause.



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