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IT'S THE NORM

Kyle Walker’s transfer fee is nothing to get excited about in the modern game

Kyle Walker became the most expensive defender in the world after his £50 million switch to Man City, but aren't these sort of fees normal practice nowadays?

Man City have been very active in the transfer window this summer, and so they should be.

After all, they have released or sold literally all of their full-backs.

Why then, is so much being made of the Kyle Walker transfer?

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Much has been made of Kyle Walker’s transfer to Manchester City this summer

Getty - Contributor
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Much has been made of Kyle Walker’s transfer to Manchester City this summer

The Blues have spent close to £200million on new recruits after last year’s trophy-less campaign.

The acquisitions of exciting playmaker Bernardo Silva, goalkeeper Ederson and versatile defender Danilo have all been brought in to breath new life into an ageing City squad.

Long-serving Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov have departed, leaving no recognised defenders to line up alongside the centre-halves.

So, in essence, City have done what any other club would do, and invested in the areas of the field that need improving.

Pablo Zabaleta was one of four full-backs to exit the Etihad this summer, prompting Guardiola to invest in his replacement

Reuters
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Pablo Zabaleta was one of four full-backs to exit the Etihad this summer, prompting Guardiola to invest in his replacement

Over £100 million has been spent on two new full-backs – Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy – to add a much-needed spark to a tiring City defensive flank.

So why everyone is surprised that the figures doing the rounds are so large?

Of course they are.

This is modern football – you are never going to get these sort of players on the cheap.

Kyle Walker is a Premier League proven, homegrown right-back very much in his prime, forcing his way into the Spurs set-up after loans with QPR and Aston Villa.

Spurs are a direct title-rival, who we have now weakened.

And, as we know, City have a fair bit of dosh to wave around thanks to a couple of rich guys from the UAE.

City chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak has overseen a mass overhaul of City’s defence

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City chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak has overseen a mass overhaul of City’s defence

What do you get if you multiply all of these things together? A transfer sum bigger than Jose Mourinho’s ego.

This was never going to be a cheap negotiation, but rather than ‘doing an Arsenal’- fiddling around with the fees and offering Spurs a two pound coin and a packet of wine gums- City knew what they wanted and coughed up.

As a fan, it’s reassuring to know that City not only have the resources to do this, but also identify the areas that need improving and just get down to business.

Extravagant transfer sums are all part of the parcel of the modern game.

TV and marketing deals and the wealth from other countries like China has blown the concept of money out of the window.

And yes, it’s all got a bit out of hand, but City aren’t the only ones contributing to this.

Calos Tevez has been earning a pretty packet in the Chinese Super League after his switch from Boca Juniors

Reuters
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China has helped to accelerate transfer fees

Real Madrid are thinking about doubling the £89mil Man United spent on Paul Pogba last summer for the services of Kylian Mbappe- and everyone thought the midfielder’s fee was ludicrous.

Look at Everton. Granted, they were anticipating the sale of Romelu Lukaku and therefore knew that they would see a profit from their incoming players, but £60 million for Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane shows just how ridiculous transfer fees are for English players in today’s market.

Alan Shearer and ex-Blackburn owner Jack Walker celebrate the 1995 Premier League triumph

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This is what £3.6 million got you 25 years ago…

There is no denying that the Walker fee is a lot of money, but City have also benefited from a lot of outgoings this summer.

Aleksandar Kolarov, Nolito, Aaron Mooy, Enes Unal and Ruben Sobrino have all been sold for a combined total of just over £30 million, and there are still the likely departures of Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala and Jason Denayer, among others.

Not to mention the possible sale of Kelechi Iheanacho which should coup the Blues around £25m, complete with a buy-back clause.

All of a sudden, then, the money paid for the likes of Walker and Mendy doesn’t sound quite so bank-breaking as the books begin to balance.

Manchester Citys stars are questioning the decision the bring Samir Nasri on the clubs US tour

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The sale of certain City outcasts like Samir Nasri could bring money in to the Etihad as well

Investment was needed in the full-back areas and the club have failed to disappoint fans with who they have brought in.

From a supporter’s perspective, it makes you extremely excited for the new season when players of this sort of calibre come in to replace the dead wood.

City are certainly not the sort of club to take this sort of thing for granted- we have watched our cross-city rivals United revel in constant title success while we lingered down in 16th place.

They might take time to gel, but fans are already counting down the days until the whistle blows to kick start the 2017/18 season.

Have we overspent? Probably. Have we got a top quality right-back for our money? Very likely. Is it coming out of my pocket? Nope.

Benjamin Mendy has joined Manchester City for £52m this summer to improve the full-back positions

PA:Press Association
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Benjamin Mendy has also been brought in to help bolster City’s defensive options

Kyle Walker’s transfer does not spell the end of the beautiful game, but rather fits within the norms of the modern.

An area of the squad needed tweaking, so City simply reshuffled the area by replacing the ageing full-backs with two capable of playing at least another seven or eight seasons.

That’s good business in my eyes. Now the new faces just need to perform on the pitch.


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