Spurs have already embarrassed Man Utd by making ‘the signing of the summer’ in media-friendly James Maddison. Liverpool spent less on a World Cup winner.
‘James Maddison transfer a snip for Tottenham after Man Utd lay out more for Mason Mount’ is a weird headline in the Daily Mirror, considering Spurs have spent £40m on a three-cap international midfielder who has played 19 games in European competition and just been relegated, while Man Utd have spent £55m to sign a former Champions League winner and European Championship finalist who has scored more times for England than Maddison has played for them, buying him from a direct Premier League rival.
You can clearly compare, contrast and frame perceptions of these two completely different transfers in any which way that suits. And Andy Dunn wants to tell us that getting Maddison for £40m ‘is a modern-day snip’ and ‘the signing of the summer’.
Why? Well Maddison is ‘a bit of a scallywag, a bit of a lad, a lovable rogue’ and ‘a maverick talent’. Oh, and ‘a truly gifted footballer’, if that sort of thing is your bag. But most importantly (to a newspaper journalist) ‘he gave one of the best interviews of the tournament’ when speaking before the World Cup – in which he played no minutes to Mount’s 186.
There truly is no greater mark of a brilliant footballer than their willingness to talk candidly to the media.
Sod Aston Villa getting Youri Tielemans for free, Brentford signing the Bundesliga’s best keeper for £11m, Brighton bringing Mahmoud Dahoud in for nothing and Liverpool getting a World Cup winner for £35m, because Spurs have spent £40m on an English player who does interviews.
Mount is more than two years younger, far more experienced at an elite level and more tactically versatile. But ‘the price for Mount could end up being £20million more than it was for Maddison’.
It will if those £5m in add-ons come into play, which BBC Sport, Goal.com and the Manchester Evening News have reported to be linked to Mount winning the Premier League or Champions League ‘multiple’ times while at Man Utd. In which case they probably won’t mind spending £60m on a player crucial to such success.
It should also be noted that there are add-ons in the Maddison deal which would take it to £45m. So really, the worst-case scenario for Spurs is that Mount ends up costing £20m more.
But no, Maddison is £40m and Mount is £60m because of the golden transfer rule: good signing means you pick the smallest number; bad signing means you pick the biggest.