By Jacob Cristobal
If you listened to my broadcast last weekend you will know I was presented with a question of what would/could Swansea City do with “Gareth Bale money.” But before I could answer the question, the connection dropped off. Hey, it comes with the territory of calling from some six or seven time zones away. Coincidentally it did create the narrative that my brief appearance on worldwide radio ended on a cliffhanger. So the question remains - what would I do with a £150 million budget at Swansea City?
Before we jump into the money pit, take note that my approach to this question involves fantasy signings and some general practicality. £150 million to spend is indeed a lot of money, but it’s still not buying you the Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and, now, Gareth Bale's of the world. Yet you can still pick up a lot of talent with that much money. Or Itay Shechter 150 million times over.
So if the Swans were given that much money with the current squad as it is, here’s what I’d do:
- PAY WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP MICHAEL LAUDRUP AT THE LIBERTY FOR LIFE
- PAY WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP MICHU
- THE ADDITIONS
Another fantasy name on my list, one who would probably cost a good deal of that £150 million is Paul Pogba from Juventus. I don’t think I’m telling anyone anything new in terms of the potential he could very well reach while under such tutelage as the legendary Andrea Pirlo.
Remember in January the bookies had Swansea pegged to land the services of one David Villa? From 2010 to 2011 he was unstoppable and only a fool wouldn’t want his killer long shot. I could watch this goal over and over. I am always going to rate El Guaje and nothing short of him committing a major, violent crime is going to change that opinion. With that huge sack of money, I’d resurrect that rumour and turn it into reality!
This next name is strictly based on the fact that whenever I can afford him in FIFA he’s been nothing but gold. Adryan over in Brazilian side Flamengo is a teenage mid/attacking mid who, if you play regularly in the game, progresses very well. It got to the point that I was rejecting offers from Barcelona for his services at four, five times the price I got him. I’m not sure how Laudrup and Jenkins view Brazilian talent but in my fantasy scenario, since there’s plenty of years ahead of him, you can ease him into the system and first team.
Now - a gamble... Fernando Torres. That’s right, I’d take a flier on Torres. Here’s why. Ever since he made the move to Chelsea, people just cannot seem to let go of the running joke: “OMG! HE DOESN’T SCORE ANY GOALS! WASTE OF MONEY LOL!” - those jokes are just so tired now! Like it or not he has a spot on the Spanish national team and they don’t just give those out to anyone for just showing up with a smile. I’d be that guy who’d take Torres and at the presser, tell people to back off because I still rate him as an effective player that could fit well into the Swansea system and take some pressure off offensive threats like Michu and Bony.
- HOW DO YOU SAY “LA MASIA” IN WELSH?
The business model Swansea City have utilised is the ultimate light at the end of the tunnel for all those clubs in various depressing levels of financial plight, so this would only be another notch to claim that the club is doing it right.
£150 million is a lot of money and acquiring some of those marquee name talents will take a big slice of that pie. Yet I think such a sack of money would honestly have Laudrup and Jenkins confused as to what they could do with it. I know they wouldn’t just piss it all away and let it negate the hard work they’ve done to get where they are in the present. The years of hard work now sees them playing in Europe and making full efforts to stay in the Premier League. Stable and continued success could very well see them making savvy moves that translate to a club that operates and brings in quality players like they’re one of the big boys with a £150 million budget every year.
Still if that magical, giant sack of money showed up at the front door of the Liberty Stadium I fully offer my services as to how to use that money!