Kevin De Bruyne had been hotly linked with a mega £47 million move to Manchester City – yet has now confirmed he will stay at Wolfsburg for the season.
But, just 18 months after Jose Mourinho let him go from Chelsea, has the Belgian international really warranted a near £30 million price increase?
It’s certainly dubious, given the Blues didn’t see anything in him and City are the only club to show a real interest in him – which should tell Manuel Pellegrini’s men all they need to know.
With that in mind, here are five reasons why the highly-rated midfielder isn’t worth £47 million just yet.
He isn’t proven enough, particularly in the Premier League
Yes, he had a good season in the Bundesliga last time out, and had a good World Cup too. But, we’ve learned in the past that you don’t spend big on players that do well at a World Cup.
He hasn’t played regularly in the Champions League either.
How can a player be valued so highly when he hasn’t really been tested on the major European stage? Now Wolfsburg are in Europe’s premier competition, let’s have another look at the end of the season.
Mourinho isn’t stupid
He knows what he’s doing in the transfer market. He knows every trick in the book. So, would he let De Bruyne go without realising his full potential? It’s doubtful at best.
He gave him a few opportunities in England, and clearly didn’t see anything of him in the games he played, so he got rid. Are Manchester City seeing something the Special One didn’t?
Granted, there was the whole situation regarding selling, then re-signing Nemanja Matic, but he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.
Mourinho claims De Bruyne refused to fight for his place, with the midfielder saying he ‘wasn’t that type of player’ and given City have more competition than Chelsea, it’s hard to see him thriving there.
He was only worth £18 million 18 months ago
It’s difficult to see how a player can nearly triple his value, when he was already worth a large amount, in just 18 months.
He hasn’t won any major titles, and apart from being quite highly-rated, he hasn’t warranted a £30 million rise in his value.
He had a great season last time out for Wolfsburg, but seriously, ten goals and 21 assists, in comparison to Dimitri Payet’s seven league goals and 17 league assists – is he worth over five times his value?
Value for money
Is he really worth £12 million more than Arsenal paid for Alexis Sanchez, double what Antoine Griezmann cost Atletico Madrid, £13 million more than Arturo Vidal cost Bayern Munich, and nearly £20 million more than Jackson Martinez cost Atleti?
Granted, players have cost more than they’re worth in the past, but why should City continue that trend?
Yes, he’s got plenty of time on his side, and has a lot of potential, but a price like that is only going to heap pressure on the lad.
They’ve already signed Sterling
There would be similarities if they signed De Bruyne for a similar fee to Raheem Sterling. For a start, they’d be spending big bucks on a relatively young attacking player.
Sterling’s price seemed a gamble, so do they really need to make another by signing KDB? Especially because they could spend this money to get someone more proven.
It’s not really an area City need to strengthen in either, so you have to wonder if the cash would be better spent elsewhere.