Everyone loves something for nothing. In the high-priced world of professional football, the same is even more true. When in August last year Kenny Dalglish asked Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini nicely for Craig Bellamy, the Liverpool icon became the proud “owner” of one very cheap, slightly-used Welsh forward.
That very cheap, slightly used Welsh forward – who spent last season on loan at his hometown club, Cardiff City – has since been one of the Reds’ best players and without question has provided the best value for money of all Liverpool’s 2011 acquisitions. Considering the plentiful concerns about Bellamy’s physical condition –his knees are reportedly bad enough to prevent him from playing three matches in a row – the contract he signed on Merseyside is for a quite reasonable two years.
In fact, despite only a month ago crowning Sergio Aguero the Premiership’s best signing of 2011, it’s time to reconsider that honour in Bellamy’s favour. With the difference in transfer fees paid and the disparity in the pair’s respective wages, the title is now the fiery Welshman’s to lose.
As an aside, Bellamy’s success at Liverpool, in concert with defender Nedum “You were such a nice man” Onuoha’s £2.5 million sale to QPR, makes one ponder the validity of City asking so much for sensation-magnet Carlos Tevez. City have insisted on receiving close to market value for their pugnacious former front man (as well as for other superfluous players Adebayor and Santa Cruz) when they have essentially discarded quality EPL players like Bellamy, Onuoha and Shaun Wright-Phillips for a handful of coppers.
As Tevez has reportedly been fined over £9 million for his repeated indiscretions, his probable profit from any deal (with a signing bonus possibly a percentage of any transfer fee paid) is something City should be hoping to avoid. This, and possible (though this sounds far-fetched) savings on his wages, mean any substantive monies they receive from his sale should be seen as gravy.
Given past experience, he is likely to haunt them no matter what fee they may accept for his signature – so the Citizens may as well just move him on and save themselves some more Tevez-induced fiscal heartburn.