Covering European newspapers on a daily basis, we’ve become pretty used to bias from the local media around the continent, but sometimes, it goes a tad too far.
Tuttosport on Thursday had a big two page spread about squad prices, and their proud claim is that Juventus (€887m) have the fourth most valuable side in Europe, ahead of the likes of Bayern Munich (€847m), Manchester United (€760m), Manchester City (€733m) and Chelsea (€767m).
At first glance, that’s not all that crazy, but then you look at the breakdown of the valuations, and that’s when you realise this might not have been a fair assessment.
Let’s start with Juventus’ squad to give you an idea of where the money comes from.
Straight away you notice that more than a third of the valuation comes from two players: Gonzalo Higuain (€130m) and Paulo Dybala (€200m).
In a world where Neymar fetches you €222m, it’s not entirely unfair to think that someone like the former Palermo starlet would cost a similar amount, especially without a release clause.
As for Higuain, he cost Juventus around €90m, and scored 32 goals last season in all competitions, so to say his value increase, even at 29, is acceptable.
The next large chunk comes from Alex Sandro at €70m, which, again, is fair, considering that’s what Chelsea were prepared to pay for him over the summer.
That’s €400m for three players, with the remaining €487m split between 20 players, with Miralem Panic valued at €50m, Daniele Rugani at €40m, which also happens to be Bernardeschi’s value.
Now, let’s turn our attention to the Premier League clubs.
We’ll start with Chelsea, since they’re labelled as the most expensive of the three, and straight away, something caught our eye: Alvaro Morata next to €110m.
Considering he cost the Blues around €80m, why has he already gone up €30m when Romelu Lukaku, who cost €90m or so, is valued at €90m by Tuttosport.
That’s just a small discrepancy, though.
Some of the valuations in Antonio Conte’s side are close to criminal.
César Azpilicueta valued at €10m, Thibaut Courtois at €40m, Willian at €30m, and Danny Drinkwater, who just cost Chelsea £34m, being labelled as €10m all stand out as gross undervaluations by Tuttosport,
Look at Manchester United, and it’s very similar.
We already mentioned Lukaku, but Phil Jones at €10m while Chris Smalling is at €15m? We’re not so sure.
De Gea as a €40m goalkeeper is laughable, so is Marcus Rashford at €50m, and would Paul Pogba, in today’s market still ‘only’ cost €110m?
There are some slight overvaluations there, too, such as Sergio Romero being worth €20m.
Finally, Manchester City.
Considering he was just bought for €40m or so, having Ederson at that price is fair, but it just shows how ridiculous the De Gea and Courtois valuations are.
Then there’s David Silva and his €10m price tag. Where do we even start with that one?
Moving onto Sergio Agüero: if Gonzalo Higuain is worth €130m, you cannot tell us the Argentinean would only cost €60m in this day and age.
The same applies for Kevin De Bruyne and his €60m, and is Raheem Sterling at €60m also worth more than Marcus Rashford these days?
So. Many. Questions.
Tuttosport try to explain themselves by saying ‘the valuations you read in the above-mentioned infographic are related to a possible price on the market and are therefore affected by factors such as age and duration of the contract’, but we think they forgot to add ‘and our slight bias/delusion’.