Everton, Tottenham and West Ham are interested in Yannick Bolasie. Crystal Palace have named their price, £28million, and that should scare off his suitors.
In this modern transfer market that a soon-to-be 30-year-old Carlos Bacca is valued at £30million, James Tomkins for double-digit millions and the natural inflation coming from Chinese billionaires, I don’t know what to make of transfer fees anymore.
With that context, Crystal Palace asking £28million for Yannick Bolasie, according to Daily Mail, is conceivably a fair shout. Despite scoring just 12 goals in 132 league appearances for Palace, it’d be just about aligned with some other deals should Bolasie be sold in that area code.
However, irrespective of the sensible rationale behind composing that number, it should be enough to scare Everton, Tottenham and West Ham off his track. If Palace won’t budge on that figure, the money would be better served going elsewhere.
Everton could really use a winger to hop in competition with Gerard Deulofeu, Aaron Lennon, Aiden McGeady and Kevin Miralles, whose future it always sketchy as he’s constantly linked with a move away from the club, anyway. Though not exactly a club swimming in cash, that money could be used for a goalkeeper, central midfielder or partner (replacement?) for Romelu Lukaku.
It makes the least amount of sense for West Ham if they’re truly chasing Bolasie’s fancy. Dimitri Payet plays wide at times, they already have Michail Antonio and have just signed Sofiane Feghouli, who will slot straight into the first team. To boot, they’re assiduously linked with Turkish winger Gokhan Tore.
The club is searching for a goal scorer. They’re stocked with wingers, it’d be superfluous for them to spend such a fee on another one. As noted above, Bolasie isn’t exactly prolific.
Even though it’d be beautiful to watch a counter attack that combines Bolasie, Payet and Feghouli bombing down the field as outnumbered, outpaced and outclassed defenders retreat until they’re dribbled around, West Ham should swipe left.
Last, we arrive at Tottenham, the club who could best withstand his fee and have enough matches to rotate him in and out. Spurs are the best landing spot for Bolasie on paper at least. His high-octane, pyrotechnic style would play well at White Hart Lane with the players they have.
Maybe with superior players around him, Bolasie’s final third output would improve. With eyes on Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Deli Alli and others, Bolasie could skulk around the periphery until the play naturally comes his way. This would be a complete inverse from his role at Palace where they belligerently force the ball to him then stand around and shrug their shoulders saying “do something.”
Comparing his numbers with players who were the creative catalysts for their teams, Eriksen, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane, Bolasie’s numbers don’t stack well.
Bolasie had the least amount of chances created of that quartet. He created 23. Coutinho and Mane doubled that while Eriksen did five times (!) more. He played the same amount of games as Coutinho and about 100 more minutes and he attempted a fraction of the shots at goal, 57 to Coutinho’s 111.
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The Palace man did average more successful dribbles a game, but where does that get you if those moves aren’t being converted? Sure, it’s nice for YouTube montages and dope Instagram videos, but how much does it actually contribute to winning points? Step-overs are cute and all, but defenders will let you have that all day long if you’re not going to shoot or create goal scoring opportunities.
At the reported figure, that’s just too much for a player of his attributes and age. (Thanks to Squawka for the stats, you can see them in full here.)
So £28million for a late-blooming 27-year-old winger? Not for me. Life is all about context, value and managing expectations. That’s too much for a player who hasn’t proved a final product, even in this market, and then he’d be expected to play most games rather than split them with Chadli, Eriksen, Lamela and Son.
Negotiate that down to £20million? Well, in that case, Tottenham would be foolish not to.
That’s transfer season, folks.