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Will exchanging players stop transfer inflation?

Monday 14th August 2017
Recently, a few articles have popped up discussing Neymar Jr's inordinate transfer fee and the negative effect it will have on the market moving forwards. Suggestions such as part paid deals, with target based increases, and transfer caps have been mooted as a way to ensure the less affluent clubs don't get left behind but the answer is far simpler: player exchanges.

While player swaps are nothing new, there are far fewer exchanges going on than would make sense in the current market. For example, would Neymar's transfer fee have been less staggering had PSG offered Barcelona one of their world class talents in exchange? Barca's backline has suffered since the retirement of Carles Puyol and Marquinhos would've been the ideal candidate if Paris could've done without him.

While this level of transfer was always going to happen eventually, you can't ignore the logic of player exchanges across the board in the market. If a club, like Southampton for example, has a player who is in great demand - money isn't necessarily the best thing to ask for in exchange for their prodigious talent as they don't have the same buying power as some of the larger clubs.

However, if several clubs were interested in a talent from said mid-table team and were to offer a player of similar ability or greater experience - this is a far more tempting proposition for the club as they don't need to check their transfer shortlist for a comparative player who may not have experience in the league or could be an expensive mistake.

Why are these questions being asked? you may be thinking.

Well, reports continue to surface that Manchester United's Anthony Martial has agreed to move to Inter Milan in a swap (plus cash) deal for Ivan Perisic and that Inter will not accept any other format of agreement due to the fast closing transfer window. The loss of Perisic to the Inter squad will have an enormous impact and will force the Italian club to scout a position they may not have considered in the past - Martial coming in immediately nullifies the need for the expensive process.

Does the deal make sense for all parties? Not really, as Manchester United's original Martial transfer was very expensive and it could see the young Frenchman labelled a failure in the Premier League if he is to depart after such a short time. Equally, Inter has a tendency to wobble on the FFP fence and could find themselves needing to sell Martial to balance the books in a few years time anyway.

Would Martial return to the Premier League with a club other than Manchester United?, Of course he would, he left Monaco without a second thought and looks like a player who simply enjoys playing football no matter the colour of the shirt he is wearing.

Put bluntly, United could find themselves in a position where a more experienced, better practiced Martial proves to be their undoing all because they swapped him for a player who is seven years his senior.

Are player swaps the best thing for the transfer market? No, they will simply reduce the cost of the deals in the public eye.
Kristian Webb
A Manchester United fan who actually knows where Manchester is; I'm the chief writer for AccumulatorTips, ForzaSwansea and a contributor to WhatCulture's video game section. I'm a professional proofreader, content author and SEO Expert but that doesn't mean there won't be the odd grammatical error!

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