As the summer transfer window hots up again, fans are at the stage of debating transfer fees once again.
Kai Havertz for £80million, Nathan Ake for £41million, Thiago for £27million, are they good fees or are they overpriced. The big one though, is Jadon Sancho for a reported €120million from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United.
At 20 years old with two years left on his contract, Sancho has reportedly made the decision to return to England for regular football amid homesickness. He has plenty of suitors but only one club willing to go anywhere near Dortmund’s asking price.
Online there is plenty of debate about whether or not United should go close to that fee, with many citing other options being available for a lesser fee. There have been calls for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, Marcus Edwards of Vitoria De Guimaraes, Jeremie Boga of Sassuolo and Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona. One issue with all of those alternatives? None of them are as good or have as many upsides as Jadon Sancho.
20 goals and 20 assists in all competitions last season for Dortmund, Sancho has exploded onto the European mainstream and at 20 years old he’s even more exciting because of the level he could reach. He can play all the way across the front three, can beat players one on one with skill and dribbling ability and also has an eye for the killer pass or goal.
Another thing that should be considered is that Sancho is English. After coming through the Watford and Manchester City academies, Sancho would count towards the homegrown quota. This could be something important for United, with the level of departures expected this summer being largely part of this quota also. Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are all linked with an exit and all count towards the homegrown quota, meaning United could do with an extra first-teamer or two in that department.
Most importantly in my opinion though, is that you have to pay the price for quality. When factoring in age, current ability, potential, attributes and positional versatility there is literally nobody on the planet who is a more perfect fit for what Ole Gunnar Solskjær is trying to build at Old Trafford. Couple that in with the Red Devils’ known wealth and Dortmund’s known stance for selling for a premium price mean you have to expect to pay top dollar.
Reports in recent days suggest a fee has been partially agreed with Manchester United agreeing to pay €60million (£54.1million) up front with a further €60million in instalments over the length of the contract. The important word there is ‘instalments’, meaning the full fee would be guaranteed to Dortmund over a certain period of time rather than needing specific targets to be met.
While €120million may seem steep right now for a guy with just two full seasons of first team football to his name, the fee only looks bad if the player doesn’t perform. If Sancho lives up to the hype and helps to solve United’s issues on the wing then nobody will be talking about the fee in a few years time. Pay the money for the quality you want.