“I think and I hope I am valued at more than £50m.”
“Football is a business. You have these kinds of things. It’s not for me to talk about the price. I just need to show my football every day and do my job for the club.”
These are the words of the most expensive defender in the history of the universe, Paris Saint-Germain’s David Luiz. In the span of four sentences, he managed to say he both believes himself to be more valuable than that record fee and it would be inappropriate for him to talk about the money. David Luiz is surfing on the roof of a gold-plated Bentley, telling you that such displays of wealth are gauche.
On the surface, a defender saying he’s worth anywhere near 50 million pounds is bonkers, but maybe there’s something to Luiz’s fit of confidence. Let’s look at the French champions’ portfolio and see how this investment is paying dividends in Ligue 1. Luiz is, after all, partnered with fellow Brazilian international Thiago Silva. Surely, playing the heart and soul of the backline from the nation that is the spiritual home of soccer, PSG’s goal must be sealed tighter than a display case at the Louvre. Or, at least, it must be better than it was before.
In the 2012-13 season (38 games), the Parisians surrendered a scant 23 goals for a 0.61 goals-per-game average, best in Ligue 1. Last season, a pairing of Silva and Alex helped PSG duplicate those numbers, again allowing the fewest goals in France. Through 25 games with Luiz in central defense, however, PSG sit third in the table and have already conceded 22 times – .88 goals surrendered per game. Four teams have allowed fewer.
Even a clumsily, barely literate businessman like Donald Trump can see that the Luiz deal hasn’t produced a great return on investment for his new club. For 50 million pounds, PSG could have found any number of more successful solutions in the transfer market. Better yet, if PSG really wants to improve its defending but still maintain its opulent image, it could have gone on eBay and purchased an actual bus to park in front of goal. One of the good ones with leather seats, a few TVs and a mini-bar. If it acts fast, there’s a great listing for a 2009 Tiffin ZEPHYR in “excellent condition.”
You don’t want a brand new luxury bus to do your defending. It doesn’t have enough experience. But that Tiffin? It has the right amount of mileage, offers heated seats, a refridgerator and four LCD TVs for a mere $229,900.
At today’s exchange rate, PSG can buy 334 of those things for the price of one David Luiz. To any savvy consumer, it’s obvious which is the better deal.