JUST when we were expecting a quiet week, up pops Zlatan Ibrahimovic and scores four goals against England.
One of them was a wonder goal, too, and it’s just got everyone wondering why on earth this guy isn’t playing in the Premier League?
It’s quite incredible, but Ibrahimovic is one of those players we have loved to knock over the years.
He is a big centre forward who doesn’t seem to run around a lot, and that’s put him under the spotlight when he’s been involved in big games.
It’s a perennial problem in this country that unless a player is putting himself about and getting a sweat on, we don’t respect them.
They might have the very best technique possible, and be held up as a good example in those terms, but if they don’t have the workrate to go along with it somebody will be on their back.
It begs the question as to just how good Ibrahimovic would be at the front of Chelsea’s three? Fernando Torres isn’t doing the job that well right now, so how much of a difference would Ibrahimovic make?
I think quite a few Premier League sides will be asking themselves why they didn’t go that bit further instead of by-passing negotiations when they heard Paris Saint-Germain were in for the Sweden international. They will probably be thinking to themselves they should have taken a gamble on him.
Changing tack slightly, another player in fantastic form is Luis Suarez at Liverpool – yet we at Skybet make Manchester City 4/1 favourites to sign him in the January transfer window.
The fee being talked about is in the £40m to £50m region and, while that might seem ridiculous, think about the money which is on the Premier League horizon. The next bidding process for TV rights is expected to bag £5bn worldwide, which means the amounts being made available to Premier League clubs will be going through the roof.
There is talk of the Premier League winners picking up £100m in only a few years time.
The difference in just one finishing position may be as much as £20m, so clubs will have to balance whether they can or can’t afford to lose a player.
For the record, Suarez has been involved in 10 of Liverpool’s 14 goals this season either as the scorer or providing the assist.
Clubs, naturally, are becoming very keen to make sure the extra income doesn’t just go straight into the players’ pockets, although they’ll have to battle the agents on that one. Let’s hope it’s a problem we’ve got at Town in the next few years!
THE Cartier Awards to crown Frankel horse of the year were fantastic.
It was a magnificent run-down of everything he has achieved and, to follow the event, it was announced his stud fees had been set at £125,000 for mares to be covered by him.
Only the very best mares will go along and it’s on a ‘no foal no fee basis’ but the money generated will be huge, especially if he proves a success at stud.
That’s the exciting next stage for racegoers – will Frankel’s progeny have the same ability?
His first crop will be born in 2014, so they will probably run in 2015 and 2016, which is a wonderful prospect for racing fans.
Everyone is wondering if Frankel will be the next champion sire. To be fair, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be.