Monday, June 30, 2008

$16 Million for Deco is a Steal

Manchester City paid nearly $38 million for Jô.

Tottenham spent $32 million on Luka Modric.

Bolton paid $20 million for Johan Elmander. JOHAN ELMANDER!

Chelsea bought Deco today for $16 million.

Something doesn't seem right here. Jô is a star-in-the-making, there's no doubt about that, but he's only 21 years old and hasn't really proved himself at either the club or international level yet. Luka Modric is a very good player, but I'm not sure he's worth the money Spurs paid Dinamo Zagreb. $20 million for Johan Elmander, who is average at best, is simply ludicrous.

The sheer fact that Chelsea paid $4 million less for Deco, a two-time Champions League winner, UEFA Cup winner, three-time Portuguese first division winner, two-time La Liga winner, former Champions League MVP and Best Midfielder, and European Silver Ball recipient, than what Bolton paid for Johan Elmander is outrageous.

Since 1999, everywhere Deco has gone, he's been a winner. Sure, Elmander has won a UEFA Cup, but that was in 2002 and he barely played for Feyenoord at that age. Other than that, he's been a part of two Swedish Allsvenskan champions (but wasn't even awarded a medal because he didn't play in enough matches) and won the Danish Superliga with Brondby in 2004-2005. Give me a break.

Sure, Deco turns 31 in August, but that doesn't mean he can't keep up with the pace of the Premiership. His new midfield mate, Michael Ballack, turns 32 in September, and everyone hailed him for his performances last season and in the Euros this summer, a tournament in which Deco played well also. Didier Drogba is 30 and can still goals with the best of them (when he's interested, that is). Trust me, Deco's age will not hold him back under Luiz Felipe Scolari at Stamford Bridge. I understand that he can be prone to injury and missed a lot of games last year, but I believe more of that is just the fact that he didn't want to play for Barcelona anymore and packed it in.

Deco's style will fit very nicely into the Premiership. He is as talented on the ball as there is in the world. He's a fantastic passer and because Chelsea doesn't have much in the way of team speed, pinpoint service is essential towards springing players in behind the opponent's back line. He is creative, but not to a fault where he won't make the short, close passes that aren't sexy for fans to watch. He holds up the ball in the center of the field and allows his wingers and strikers to get forward, where he can hit that 50 or 60-yard ball and put it on a line.

This guy is worth more than $16 million. Chelsea should be jumping for joy at the fact that they got him for this kind of bargain, because the impact he's going to have will more than repay their already meager investment. His arrival likely means that Frank Lampard is on his way out, possibly to join Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan, but you know what? Deco brings more to the table than Lampard, who needs others around him to shine. Deco is the type of player that makes everyone else better, not vice-versa.

Joining fellow Portuguese internationals Bosingwa, Ricardo Carvalho, and Paulo Ferreira, as well as the two Brazilians, Alex and Belletti (as well as the previously mentioned Scolari), will jumpstart Deco and put a spring in his step that he hasn't had in a while.

Even if it doesn't work out, which I obviously don't think will be the case, it's a low-risk move for Chelsea because they spent relatively little money on Deco. This isn't an Andriy Shevchenko-type situation, where Roman Abramovich threw money around like he was playing Monopoly. That move has been a complete bust for Chelsea and cost Abramovich $60 million, whereas this acquisition of Deco cost just over a quarter of that sum. If Deco doesn't deliver, no sweat off Chelsea's back because it was an inexpensive transfer in the first place.

This is low-risk, high-reward, and I believe Deco will ultimately prove that his $16 million price tag was a steal for Chelsea.


Aravind said...

Deco would certainly bring more creativity than Lamps but will he score 20 goals a season like superFrank. I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Good post.