Liverpool will get real perspective on the reported £27m price for Thiago if they do sell Rhian Brewster. Reports claim they’re open to a sale.
Sky Sports recently claimed that Liverpool could sell Brewster for around £20m. They’d want a buyback clause in there but if someone offers at least that amount, the Reds could sell.
It’s potentially a large amount for such an inexperienced player. Brewster only has half a season of senior experience, after all – although it did go well.
The forward bagged 11 goals in 22 games for Swansea City, nearly helping them to promotion via the Play-Offs. But it’s only half a season, still.
The fact that Liverpool may find teams willing to pay that, though, offers perspective on another potential deal.
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The Thiago question
Liverpool reportedly want Thiago, as you may have heard. There are links everywhere, such as here by ESPN. They say there’s a £27m asking price for Thiago but the Reds aren’t sure.
They have too many options as it is and the player is out of contract in a year. Surely £27m is too much for a 29-year-old with one year left on his deal?
Well, the potential £20m for Brewster puts that in a strange light. It certainly offers perspective on Thiago but exactly what that perspective is depends on the person looking.
There are positives and negatives, in other words.
For one, Thiago is lightyears ahead of Brewster in current ability and standing in the game. We know exactly what he is – a world-class playmaking midfielder. That, naturally, commands a huge fee.
So getting a player like that for £7m more than a relatively untested 20-year-old seems like an incredible deal. It’s difficult to dispute that.
But when you think in contract terms, maybe it’s a little easier to dispute.
Because you’re effectively paying £30m for one year of Thiago. That doesn’t mean he’d leave soon but you’re really just paying to get him in early. Otherwise, you wait a year and get him for nothing.
You’re also only really getting him for the length of his contract and with no sell-on value. He’s 29, after all, and a four-year contract would leave him at 33. You aren’t going to get your money back if you sell him in his 30s.
Compare that with Brewster. Any buying club is getting a player for, hopefully, the duration of his contract. If Liverpool never use a buy-clause then that’s potentially five years of Brewster for £20m.
That’s £4m per year for five years, compared to Thiago’s £30m for one. No, Brewster will not be anywhere near as good for the first year or two but by the end he’s in his prime. He could well become a top player and you’d get two or three years of that.
There’s also potential for a new contract keeping him around even longer.
And Liverpool may use their clause. If they do, you’ve effectively been paid millions to loan a player for a few years. That’s a solid deal.
So what do you do?
It really comes down to how much value you place in elite players. If it’s lots, then a £30m price for even a year of Thiago is a bargain. If you place more value in financial dealings, then it’s actually a rip-off – especially compared to Brewster.
We suspect Liverpool see things as the latter. The fact that they haven’t signed Thiago yet certainly suggests so. If they felt signing an elite player is worth the cost, they’d have already done it, after all.