More fallout today from the Gareth Barry signing with the news that Spurs tried to sign him but that City offered more in a transfer fee and wages, No surprise in the latter but interesting that the reported 12 million was more than Spurs or Liverpool were prepared to pay.
This idea that somehow a player is worth less because his contract is nearing the end has never made much sense to me. Invariably the player signs a new contract so the fact that they have a year left on their deal doesn't matter. The argument is that the selling club has to lower the valuation because they have less leverage due to the possibility of losing the player for nothing if they see out their contract. I'm not buying the logic. Gareth Barry was valued at 18 million last year and he didn't get 6 million worse or more over the course of the season.
As long as such logic is around then City can use their new found wealth to trump other teams. We did that with De Jong, not waiting for the summer where anyone could have activated the buyout clause, and here with Barry we have paid a little more than Spurs or Liverpool were prepared to pay and snagged an excellent signing.
I'm curious to see if de Jong and Barry become the base central midfield partnership in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Or indeed how Hughes sees the tactical set up for next season. The more I think about it, the Barry signing signals that Vincent Kompany will play in the centre of defense.
The press is speculating on one striker after another. It is all quiet on the defender front. Hopefully we'll be as pleasantly surprised as we were with Barry.
Interesting question from one of the readers as to whether I was suggesting that Barry is better than Fabregas. In a word, no; but that misses the point. Fabregas is one of the best players in the Premiership. However he has never shown that inner drive that is needed to put the club on his shoulders and drive them to victory against all odds. Viera had that, Gerrard and Lampard do today. As does Barry and down at Everton, Tim Cahill. Robinho is a better player than Gareth Barry but he isn't capable as far as I can see of being that leader.
That is what Arsenal are missing. Add Gareth Barry to the current Arsenal squad and I believe they would challenge for the league title with no additional player needs. Maybe, as another reader indicated, Wenger doesn't rate Barry. This doesn't change the need that Arsenal have for a dynamic midfield leader. I'm a huge fan of the way Arsenal play, I strongly believe that the team is under rated at the moment and will pull a surprise next year. But Fabregas isn't that leader. At least he's not shown it yet.
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