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WORLD GONE MAD

This extract from a 1999 BBC article will make you miss Nineties football

Remember a time when paying £23million for a 20-year-old Nicolas Anelka was deemed as 'madness'?

The year was 1999.

The date was July 28.

Vengaboys were number one in the UK with their club anthem ‘BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM‘, which was fitting given Arsene Wenger was in a fight to keep his star player.

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The Wengerboys

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The Wengerboys

Nicolas Anelka, fresh off the back of scoring 17 goals in 35 Premier League games, wanted out.

The 20-year-old had played in all but three of Arsenal’s league games and effectively called time on Ian Wright’s spell at the club.

But with rumours of a Real Madrid move in the wings, Anelka wasn’t happy in north London.

There was just one problem. Madrid weren’t playing ball.

Someone needs to tell Nicolas Anelka that Madrid aren’t interested

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Someone needs to tell Nicolas Anelka that Madrid aren’t interested

Having been warned off with the threat of a FIFA sanction if they continued ‘illegal’ approaches for the Frenchman, Madrid were no longer interested in Anelka.

At least not officially.

Lazio were though. Sven-Goran Eriksson was spoiled for choice up front thanks to Marcelo Salas and Christian Vieri, but he wanted more.

The Serie A giants opened official negotiations with Arsenal. This is where we get a bit misty eyed.

Sven, meet John

AP:Associated Press
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Sven, meet John

Lazio walked away from talks after finding the idea of paying £23million for a 20-year-old ‘madness’.

Yep, £23mil for a full international scoring double figures in one of Europe’s toughest league was considered bonkers.

1999 was a simpler time

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1999 was a simpler time

We’re just going to slip on our rose-tinted glasses and remind everyone that Swansea turned down a bid of nearly double that for Gylfi Sigudsson.

That’s not to take away from the Icelandic midfielder- a very fine player in his own right.

Not worth £40m, according to Swansea

PA:Press Association
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Not worth £40m, according to Swansea

It’s equally as mental that Alvaro Morata costs £60m, Benjamin Mendy costs £52m and Kylian Mbappe might well cost more than £160m.

In the end it didn’t matter because Madrid stuck the money on the table, as they tend to do.

May as well order the ‘Mbappe’ Madrid shirt now.

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