In any given football transfer, there is at least one party who comes out as a big winner. In Falcao’s summer shuffle to Monaco, Atletico Madrid pocketed a tasty fee for the Colombian, whilst the receiving side benefited from the fame of landing Europe’s hottest striker.
The loser, perhaps, is Falcao himself, who is making a move to a considerably smaller club despite a much fatter wage.
It is rare that every single group with a hand in any given deal is worse off than before the transfer takes place. This is exactly what has happened with Isco’s move to Real Madrid, a switch that just looks bad for everyone involved.
Whilst the La Liga outfit will pocket the reported £23 million from the move according to BBC, Malaga are very much a selling club, and the funds are unlikely to be reinvested.
That was the situation with last season’s departures of Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal, and it is set to be no change in Isco’s case. The selling of the playmaker further weakens a team that once had the potential to be a third force in Spanish football but is now slipping towards mid-table mediocrity.
Thousands of happy campers are sure to turn up at Isco’s official presentation, but the move has the feel of a panic buy from Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
Previous Spanish starlets such as David Silva, Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla and Fernando Llorente have left La Liga with barely an attempt from Real Madrid—a club that supposedly prides itself on being the pride of the nation—to sign them.
The purchase of Isco is an attempt to appease supporters, who want to see more young Spanish talent in the team, irrespective of whether it is required or not.
A cool-headed examination suggests that whilst it is always handy having top-class players kicking about the squad, Isco’s tactical position is already well-stocked in the shape of Mesut Ozil, Luka Modric and Kaka.
The funds would have been better spent as part of a huge bid for Gareth Bale, a potential replacement for Gonzalo Higuain, or even kept in the bank. The truth is that Isco really is not needed at Real Madrid.
The talented 21-year-old is at a key stage of his development and needs to play as many games as possible. This simply is not going to happen at Real Madrid, where Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil can be expected to start ahead of the Malaga-born footballer.
Of course, training, learning and competing alongside such world-class performers can be an enormous boost for Isco, this will surely be countered by the many minutes the Spain U-21 star will spend on the bench. Isco started 36 league games last season for Malaga. Real Madrid’s latest signing will be lucky to get half of that total at his new club.
Although it is a small mercy that Isco will not be heading abroad as so many of Spain’s top-class talent have done recently, the move will further increase the distance between the big two and everyone else.
Every time a smaller side like Malaga lose a talent like Isco, the collective strength of La Liga weakens that little bit more—especially if that talent is wasted wandering about on the touchlines for Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Vicente Del Bosque
Isco was outstanding in Malaga’s Champions League campaign last year and for the Spanish U-21 side during the recent European Championships.
Vicente Del Bosque must have been delighted by the prospect of seeing the footballer develop further experience to become a real call-up possibility for Spain in next year’s World Cup. A lost campaign at Real Madrid may have reduced those chances considerably.