The deal agreed to make Christian Benteke a Crystal Palace player shows that Premier League spending is out of control.
If Liverpool thought that selling Raheem Sterling to Manchester City for £49 million last season represented good business, then owners Fenway Sports Group must be astounded they have gotten their money back for one of last season’s biggest flops.
Many thought that £32 million was too much for Benteke last year despite being successful at Aston Villa during a three year spell, so for Crystal Palace to deem he is still worth that inflated price tag despite managing just ten goals in 42 games last season is astounding. To put this into context Manchester United buying Paul Pogba for a world record fee was the equivalent of Palace spending £15 million a player, based on the two club’s revenue streams.
The Premier League is awash with money but spending so much money on one player who underperformed badly this season is risky business. Many fans will no doubt be wondering why season ticket prices are still so high when clubs can throw money around like confetti at overrated players. And they would be right to ask that question.
Benteke may be well prove to be worth the money, especially if his goals keep Palace up. However, there is still value in the market if clubs look hard enough and the likes of Southampton and Swansea continue to prove this. With the transfer fees so high in English football, the value of a good scout cannot be overestimated. However, it seems the days of a club unearthing a talent are all but gone and the Premier League is a competition where money is King.
Despite paying over the odds for Benteke, Palace did their own bit of good business this summer, selling Dwight Gayle to Newcastle for a fee close to £10 million. This was after he scored three times in 16 Premier League outings last year.
With English clubs having to pay premium to buy players off each other, the overseas market will continue to provide the best value for Premier League clubs. And the multi-million industry of Premier League football, investing in a good scouting team may well be the best piece of business any club does this summer. Just ask Leicester City what a good scout and recruitment policy can achieve.