Whilst the £6 million Javier Hernandez was banging in his twelfth league goal for Manchester United, the £50 million Torres and the £27 million Dzeko were notching their first league goals. Both Chelsea and Manchester City will be hoping that these goals were the first of many as they pray that their enormous investment starts to pay some dividends. Of course, in Dzeko’s case, that one goal took Manchester City a whole lot closer to Champions League football and therefore, may prove to be invaluable.
Teams around the world are prepared to pay a fortune for any player who knows where the back of the net is. For all the magical football skills of Lionel Messi, it is the fifty goals he has scored this season that makes him so special. The same could be said of the free scoring Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Both Chelsea and Manchester City have shelled out huge amounts on men that they feel will be able to find the net regularly enough to take their teams to the top. Manchester United invested a far smaller amount on a young man that they felt would supply the goals in the future. Thay have got lucky that he has come good so quickly.
There is no disputing the class of Fernando Torres or his ability to find the net. At Atletico Madrid, Torres bagged an impressive ninety-one goals from two hundred and forty-nine appearances. At Liverpool he went even better with eighty-one goals in one hundred and forty-two games. Chelsea were therefore spending their money on a man who they thought would guarantee them a goal every 2.2 games. That would equate to six goals from his fourteen appearances so far rather than the one he has produced. Chelsea will be hoping that the old saying that form is temporary and class is permanent applies to their star striker.
The twenty-five year old Dzeko was more of a gamble. His reputation was forged over two and a half successful seasons with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga after a fairly ordinary start to his professional career. After scoring five goals in forty league games in his native Bosnia he moved on to the Czech league. Thirteen goals in thirty appearances earned him a move to Wolsburg where after a slow start, things took off for him. After finding the net just eight times in twenty-eight games in his first season, he suddenly couldn’t stop scoring. The next two and a half seasons saw him notch fifty-eight times in eighty-three games. It was on the back of this that City thought £27 million was an investment worth making.
The twenty-two year old Hernandez had played his whole career in the Mexican league with Guadalajara, making just sixty-four appearances and scoring twenty-six goals. Admittedly, twenty-one of those goals had come in the twenty-eight league games last season before Sir Alex lured him to Old Trafford.
The question is, has Sir Alex Ferguson got lucky, or have Manchester Unitedjust been clever? The other question is, will Chelsea and Manchester City get their money’s worth in the end, or have they both made a mistake?
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