LEEDS, ENGLAND – AUGUST 30: Anthony Gordon of Everton celebrates after scoring their side’s first goal during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Everton FC at Elland Road on August 30, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Chelsea’s attempts to land 21-year-old Anthony Gordon this summer demonstrated a lot of ever-changing factors about the transfer market. The willingness to spend upwards of £45million (with a demand of more than £60million coming from Everton) proves the way the landscape has moved.
In 2014 Chelsea were able to buy Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas for the value the Toffees placed on Gordon’s head this summer. Breaking transfer records is now a yearly norm and £69.5million on Wesley Fofana, another 21-year-old can be judged as decent business.
Gordon’s failed move – one that he was keen on – also highlights the premium placed on in-league moves for top division players and also the added cost needed for English players too. Thomas Tuchel’s admiration for Gordon was born from watching him play in person twice against his own side, the irony being that Callum Hudson-Odoi, a player of arguably more talent and similar experience, wasn’t being used.
Chelsea backed down from Everton eventually though as Frank Lampard’s reluctance to sell their local star became evident and other forward options were prioritised by Todd Boehly. Speaking now, Gordon himself has revealed his own stance on the interest and the money involved, admitting to the Evening Standard: “That’s football nowadays – it’s absolutely crazy.”
This is the first time since the summer that Gordon has spoken about the bids and doesn’t just think it’s too much for him, but too much in general, adding: “Personally, I don’t think any player is worth that amount of money but I’m also not going to talk myself down. The money in football, that’s just how it is nowadays. You’re also paying for potential all the time these days. That’s just how football goes.
“I wasn’t too focused on that because I can only control what I can control.”
The England Under-21s winger makes a good point regarding potential. In the search for the ‘next Kylian Mbappe’ or Erling Haaland, young players are expected to be at world-class levels in their late teens and early 20s, an unrealistic desire and one subsequently raising prices.
In Boehly’s first transfer window in charge he sanctioned more than £50million of funds on teenagers alone and that went up to £110million on players aged 21 or under. Although the value of getting a high-class young player comes in their growth and longevity, Gordon doesn’t think transfer values help a player at all.
“I think the minute you do that [thinking he is a £60million player], there’s only one way you’re going to go. You need to stay humble. You need to focus on today and tomorrow and don’t look too far into the future. That’s part and parcel of football. When you’re doing well, there’s always going to be that speculation.”
Since the interest went quiet – though it is expected Chelsea may well venture back in for Gordon – he has failed to score after getting two in as many games during the initial stages of the transfer. He is now tasked with helping Everton to a much better season and must turn attentions back to club football and get over the initial disappointment of a career defining move being stopped.
“Because the place [Everton] is so good, it’s not a place where I’m devastated because I have to stay,” he added. “That’s never been the case. I was never desperate to leave Everton. It was definitely not the case.”
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