About a week ago I took over Benfica and my sole and only purpose with the team was to make as much money as humanly possible. While I wasn´t too hopeful at seeing big bucks flying my way in the early stages of my save I was still looking for some action during the first two windows at my sight. So some movement was to be expected. As I mentioned in the first post to this series, my plan is also to do well in terms of success on the field not just sell as much as I can. Therefore I also need to bring in players sometimes but they have to be players I can sell for a profit if the occasion arises. So all players I bring in are basically players I feel will help us and later will bloom to their full value when Sauron, excuse me, some money club cast their eye upon us. When I am writing this we have progressed to the end of midseason transfer window and it is now effectively closed. Knowing that, we got two transfer windows worth of activity to cover so let´s get started already, shall we?
While you might wonder how are we doing in terms of success on the field, I´ll just answer to that with these images instead boring you with a very thorough report about our season so far.
Ok, with that thingy out of the way we can fully concentrate on the business side of things.
After having a thorough look on the First, second, youth team and loans we are having outside the club, the situation is mouth watering. There is so much potential in the club in all of the teams. Especially the centre of the midfield seems to be loaded with profitable talent. Both in terms of success and profit. What I also noticed that there was a very substantial amount of players on loan already while I started the game which kinda made me think of trimming down the teams to more manageable size in the future. There are different preferences for the final amount of players you are going to have for each team but at least your youth team should only hold so much that everyone will see time on the pitch. Even if the purpose of playing them is purely just to raise the value as much as possible.
Look, I just bought money – The Summer Window
It sounds funny considering the premise of this series but my first activity for the summer window of 2016 was a buy. It was a buy to make a profit and if you can´t turn Lucas Lima into profit, baby you are in the wrong line of business. I already told you that the CM department looks mightily solid but getting Lucas Lima for less than 20 million €, come on. Brazilian international who already speaks the language and settles for less than 2 m/annual wages. He is like a gold deposit. I paid 17.75 m with 12.75 upfront with added 5 m after 36 apps. Roughly at the end of the first season if he stays healthy. With proper usage, I can prolong that over the 2017 summer and check his value on that window. So his total cost is 26,625 million € if he plays until the end of his contract. He is now valued 26.5 so there´s a possibility he won´t be here on 2021. Look at him smiling so smirky.
Matheus Vital is straight out money option purchase. Lima will be integral while being around but Vital was mostly bought to serve as a stock option waiting for the price tag go high enough. He might be seen as a risk investment since I paid more for him than he is now valued but I am confident that proper exposure to European football will beef him up for someone to get interested in the coming years. He is 18 so there is a lot of football ahead of him before the decisive actions. Currently loaned out to Ingolstadt to gain first team minutes. So innocent looking fella.
So quite surprisingly no one came knocking during the summer window but I was confident that some of my players would leave in the winter. I just needed to build a solid foundation that would hold despite the coming departures. I already knew that some of the players would have to leave to have some sense in the wage budget. The wage budget looked so scary that the accountant refused to learn the names of our staff just in case it would blow up.
So we got a few albatrosses hanging around out necks through the fall portion of the season. The most notable few were:
- Adel Taarabt – 3.55/a
- Luisão – 3.2/a
- André Carrillo -2.85
All of these, I had absolutely no use whatsoever. Also, there was a backup GK with 2.4/a so things needed to change. Fast.
I started putting up ads for these players well before the midseason window and I was hopeful with the feedback I got. Also, I found out that nothing fuels the appetite quite like the exceptional success. And with great appetite, comes great spending.
Darf ich bitte die Karte sehen?
Asked the elderly bavarian gentleman right after he sat down in my office on one of the winter days of January. Yes, I showed him the menu as a did to everybody else who bothered to enter our little meat shop in the corner of Europe. This bavarian gentleman had a particular taste for a Swedish delight. Victor Lindelöf moved to FC Bayern in a last minute scoop right under the nose of Manchester City. After some negotiations, they paid 24.5 m upfront and saved 5 m to later fees. Lindelöf deal happened in really quick pace without any interest shown beforehand.
For Ljubomir Fejsa however, there was very much interest already way before the transfer window. The interest for the DM/CM was coming from China. Chinese are actually quite scary with their money usage and interesting to see how that part develops in longer saves. Fejsa backed his chopsticks and moved to Jiangsu Suning for straight up 35 m € and for some reason 1 m over the course of the next year.
I also concluded a couple of deals that I didn´t see coming at all and they actually forced me to act in the window also. Bringing in some replacements. Jardel my 30-year-old centre-back was very much needed by his fellow countryman in Manchester and he moved to JoseLandia for respective 14.25 m and 20 m in total(his release clause) after some conditions are met. I think he might sort some of their defensive issues but 20 m for a 30-year-old? Well, he looks quite good still.
I actually replaced him with two players. Both looking solid for some exchange in the future. Paulo Henrique moved in for 3.4 m and César Montes for 18.25m
So getting two players to replace one? The other one is for money and the other is for the big money in the future. You´ll see. The Nelson Semedo deal came in on the last minutes of the window deadline. While being my starter, he was also injured quite a lot. I already had bought Nicolás Tripichio, a 21 year old Argentinian to serve as his backup so I just promoted Tripichio to a starter when Arsenal dropped 18 m upfront and 27 m after future commitments are due. With already having Héctor Bellerín for that spot, who am I to argue with proceeding case of frontotemporal dementia? So my starting right back looks like this now. ————————————————->
So about those wage wells I had in my team. Did we manage to get rid of them? For some reason, they have a huge taste on aged Brazilians on the desert. Luisão moved to play for Al-Ain and is enjoying the 7.15 million/annual salary until the end of 2018. So let´s recap. They paid for me 1.1 m to rid me off his 3.2 m/a salary and slapped him with 7.15 million for two years. So 15.4 million investment for a 35-year-old centre-back. Pretty sweet for a club that is valued little over a million less than that.
André Carrillo was injured for the most part of the fall season and I was lucky to ship him off to Lazio with 9.5 m upfront and 13 m in total. This was also as mentioned a means of cutting the wage bill.
Adel Taarabt was a whole different case, however. Being a useless and shitty player he also knew that he was sitting on a goldmine. He was not having any talks about re-structure, mutual termination or anything. In good fashion, he was threatening me with mutiny and press. I showed him to the II – team to have his tantrums there and watched the news feed about his epic battle with the II – team manager. They say that it is darkest just before the dawn and they are right, well maybe not in Finland where I live but anyways. Brentford came in with the proposition to relieve me from the anal wound with me paying 1 m towards his wages. 1 m is way less than 3.5 m in my book, so the
They say that it is the darkest just before the dawn and they are right, well maybe not in Finland where I live but anyways. Brentford came in with the proposition to relieve me from the anal wound with me paying 1 m towards his wages. 1 m is way less than 3.5 m in my book, so the Taarabt circus moved to Griffin Park. In the wage department we also
In the wage department, we also cut loose Jonas who found his new home from Napoli with just a complimentary fee of 1.1m. While being somewhat good on paper he was having difficulties adapting my system and he was a deemed surplus pretty fast being inconsistent and unproductive. Also if you have guys like this moving around in your youth ranks, you can spare one 32-year old striker.
From this, we shall move towards the end of the season and start putting together plans for the next season. There will be some youth players rising to the occasion and some folk are required to leave once the window opens again. From here I´ll finish the season and report back to you once the season is over.
And since I know that at least one of you is interested in this matter….
Players bought: 40.5 m €
Players sold: 104 m €
Nice doing business with you.