Imagine how many goals a clinical world-class forward like Robert Lewandowski would score for Liverpool, a team who create chances in abundance…
The answer: a truckload.
Sadly, he’s not the subject of any interest and is (almost) definitely not going to make a Merseyside move anytime soon!
But he’s the subject of this article because of his blunt answer to a question about Barcelona’s interest in Coutinho…
“We must stop imposing the professional football player with those emotions. Loyalty is a beautiful word, a romantic idea and an important value in private life, but in high level sport, other parameters come into play: success and money,” he said, reports in the Echo.
“Those two factors decide a transfer, nothing else. In the space of a few years, who has the power has hugely changed, in the player’s favour. The footballer who really wants to move clubs tends to achieve his goal.”
The Pole thinks that loyalty between player and clubs is an invented sentiment and that only commercial parametres truly matter.
This is a man who ran his contract down at Borussia Dortmund and signed for their arch-rivals Bayern Munich, so we perhaps shouldn’t be surprised.
In many ways, he’s right. Money and trophies are crucial, especially as a normal player’s peak lasts for around five years – a tiny amount of time when you consider a working professional’s 50-odd.
But we actually disagree with Lewandowski that player power is increasing.
Over the summer, we saw Coutinho, Riyad Mahrez, Virgil van Dijk and Alexis Sanchez hand in transfer requests but fail to move, because their parent club flatly refused to sell.
With Premier League teams especially, clubs are deciding to remain stubborn. When everyone’s rich, as they are in England due to our TV deals, nobody is under instant pressure anymore to cash in.