Confederation Cup over, now back to the grinding of that best of mills, the Transfer Mill.
What sludge doth pour forth from its weathered timber tower today?
Hello Paulinho! For £17 million to Tottenham Hotspur from Corinthians. There are many clear reasons why this could be a very beneficial move (although Ted Knutson for one has his doubts), but his asking price is just under double transfermarkt’s guesstimated value from last December at £9 million. His performance with Confed Cup winners Brazil no doubt played a part, although we shouldn’t be quick to blame Spurs for the inflation—if even one dumbass throws money at Corinthians based on a summer friendly holiday tour with a major home advantage, everyone has to pay more. This is why transfer market stupidity must be rooted out of the system completely.
There may in fact be method in Spurs’ madness. Knutson for example questions the value in picking up another midfielder on a team that seems to be in desperate need of a better back line. But Jonathan Wilson’s Five Things We Learned from the Confed points to the trend of the attacking full-back gone wild, and he singled out Paulinho as a paragon of restraint:
Yes, they beat Spain 3-0 and, yes, they improved as the tournament went on but this Brazil side still have major flaws. The forward surges of Marcelo and Dani Alves can leave them dreadfully exposed at the back, particularly when both go at the same time. It’s true that Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho became increasingly adept at covering for them as the tournament progressed, and that relationship should improve over the next 12 months, but even so, Brazil again and again were saved by David Luiz, who popped up to resolve crises with the implausible regularity of an Agatha Christie detective.
While not exactly totaalvoetbal, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the old “two stable guys at the back” approach may no longer be enough. One wonders what Roberto Carlos thinks of his countrymen’s failure to run the other way.
That’s not the only bit of transfer weirdness for us to scoff at. Christopher Samba is heading back to Russia for 12 million after an ill-fated stint in Shepherd’s Bush:
QPR defender Christopher Samba is set for a swift return to Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.
Mega-rich Anzhi, who have the likes of former Barcelona star Samuel Eto’o and ex-Chelsea and Arsenal man Lassana Diarra on their books, sold the former Blackburn defender to the Hoops last January for a reported £12.5m.
However, the Russian side are keen to re-sign the giant centre-back and QPR look set to recoup most of the money they paid for the 29-year-old.
This may seem mad until one realizes that transfer fees are paid in installments and that the £500,000 lobbed off the transfer fee from the original deal had likely already been paid. As an astute Tweeter points out:
@benconlen It was a pre-arranged deal with Anzi that they would 'buy' him back if QPR were relegated. Doubt any money ever changed hands.
— Bethnal Y and G (@BethnalYG) July 2, 2013
In other words this is probably just a mulligan. Still, it’s fun to let everyone think that this is about as dull as football’s decision-makers get.