Days after claiming he is ‘restrained’ by Man City’s budget Pep Guardiola has paid Athletic Bilbao £58million for centre-back Aymeric Laporte.
Shift through the salt of City spending big again and there’s something quite intriguing about Laporte’s move, given he’s yet to be capped at international level.
But he’s not the first big money signing to move without stepping foot on the international stage.
Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao to Man City)
Quite how Laporte has reached the age of 23 without picking up an international cap is a mystery.
Born in France and eligible for Spain, Laporte has played for the French Under-21 side on 19 occasions, putting him in James Milner territory.
After making 46 England Under-21 caps Milner finally made the leap to senior football. Laporte will surely follow suit as part of Guardiola’s swashbuckling side.
Anthony Martial (Monaco to Man United)
In five days Marital went from an uncapped and relatively unknown Monaco forward to a French international signed to Man United.
All it took was £36million.
Seventeen caps later and he’s only found the back of the net on one occasion. No wonder he always looks so moody.
Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk to Jiangsu Suning)
Brazilian? Uncapped? Well come on down to China then.
Teixeira moved to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning for £35m, effectively ending his international chances.
To be fair, Brazilian aren’t lacking in the attacking department.
Vinicius Junior (Flamengo to Real Madrid)
How do you ensure a player doesn’t live up to their potential?
Sign them for £39.6m when they are still just 16, as Madrid did with Vinicius.
He’ll move to Madrid after his 18th birthday, eager to prove he’s more Kaka than Kerlon.
Ederson (Benfica to Man City)
The World’s Most Expensive Goalkeeper (until Gianluigi Donnarumma moves) made his Brazil debut four months after signing for City.
Anyone doubting the £35m fee City paid Benfica was quickly silenced when they saw him kick a football.
If he doesn’t score a goal at some point in his City career we’ll eat our finger spinners.
Paulo Dybala (Palermo to Juventus)
If you’re a left-footer from Argentina you’re always going to get compared to one man. Erik Manuel Lamela.
But that didn’t stop Juventus spending £23m on an uncapped Dybala in 2015.
He made his Argentina debut four months later, against Paraguay, but has yet to find the back of the net in 12 appearances.
Ander Herrera (Athletic Bilbao to Man United)
United’s first efforts to sign Herrera were scuppered by three mystery lawyers, which set the tone for David Moyes’ transfer window.
They did eventually get their man, for £28.85m, and he’s since gone on to make two appearances for Spain.
All’s well that ends well.
Asier Illarramendi (Real Sociedad to Real Madrid)
Illarramendi never stood a chance looking at the other players Madrid signed during the summer of 2013.
The uncapped Spaniard was smuggled in for £34m alongside Gareth Bale, Isco, Dani Carvajal and Casemiro.
He’s since returned to Real Sociedad and was capped by Spain last June. No mean feat, given the competition.
Theo Hernandez (Atletico Madrid to Real Madrid)
Hernandez left his brother behind at Atletico when he moved to the Bernabeu for £22.8m last summer.
He’s not done a lot since, but there’s still a battle between Spain and France for his international services.
Who’d you fancy?
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