The Swift Kicks Podcast hosts react to the big news this week regarding two highly sought after players.
On Grealish - It's definitely a statement signing. Man City are showing they want continued success, and it's nice to see that it's coming in the form of an English player. However, there's a lot of questions for me. Is he worth the £100M price tag? More so - will he be able to live up to it with so many other similar players in the squad already? Phil Foden showed just as much promise in Euros, it may be hard to get them both in the same side. And don't forget Sterling, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Jesus....
I do have to give a shoutout to Villa's management for being straightforward with the fans and communicating with them about an obviously bitter pill to swallow.
On Messi - Man City really picked the wrong day to spend £100M didn't they?! This is a huge opportunity for a club to sign a big name and basically make a bunch of money in a post-pandemic season. The trouble is, his wages are going to be huge and there are only so many clubs who can afford that. Unfortunately, I think that leads to him going to the likes of PSG, Man City (their accountant is probably screaming), or Man United (although it doesn't look like their budgeting for such a big move). It would be amazing to see him land at Juventus with Ronaldo (we can dream), but he could also go back to his boyhood club of Newell's Old Boys in Argentina. Wherever he goes, he's a Barcelona legend - in 778 appearances for the club, he scored 672 goals, won 6 Ballon d'Or, 4 Champions Leagues, 7 Copa Del Rey's and more. I think Barcelona got their money's worth.
On Grealish - It appears that Pep is still trying to buy his way to more club trophies, as his receipts are quickly beginning to add up to £1 billion. The reality though is the game is continuing to evolve, with Man City not investing in a stand alone striker, will we see new positions and new hybrid types of plays that Grealish is expected to be the linchpin of?
On Messi - The man has been at Barcelona since he was 13 years old... think about that, have you done anything consistently since you were 13. His dedication to the club never wavered and he had every intention of staying put with Barcelona. The Messigate is a sign of bigger things to come, the inflation of players wages have clearly surpassed what clubs are about to keep up with, and with Barcelona being in the spotlight for their finances, it is no surprise they weren't able to make some shady bookkeeping work in their favor. It is always rough being the first one to have to show your cards (Barcelona Finances) but this is going to be the first domino of many to fall. Clubs have been trying to make a super league happen, likely to prevent these types of signings from falling through. My question is which club will fall next? For Barcelona, it is the end of an Era, they still have some superb talent to keep them relevant while they find the next superstar.
On Messi - 1. I personally think he'll stay. I think Barcelona will somehow axe players in desperation to keep Messi on, or La Liga will realize the financial losses of losing one of the best players ever from their league and finagle some way to bend the rules they have in place to allow Barcelona to keep Messi. That or he goes to City.
2. Furthermore, I actually think Barca are playing hard ball with La Liga at the moment. Announcing that they are not able to keep Messi not because they don't want to or can't afford him, but because the badman La Liga is not allowing them to. I think they are blame deflecting in hopes that the league will realize their rules regarding wage bills are going to lose the league millions in revenue and Barca are holding out for La Liga to change their mind. Watch this space...
3. How embarrassing for Barcelona? When was the last time you ever heard of a club not able to keep a player because they had gone so foul in following to financial rules and regulations in place by a league? I can't think of one. And this isn't just any player. This is your talisman. Your icon. Your identity. The best player ever (arguably). You don't just let that happen. This has been something festering in Barcelona for ages and all these poor financial decisions have finally reached a pinnacle, the tipping point. Where Messi is FORCED to leave because the club is not allowed to keep him. Shambles.