Dutch play-maker Wesley Sneijder completed his move to Galatasary last night, ending speculation that he might have been on his way to the Premier League and specifically Anfield.
Initially, Liverpool fans are going to be disappointed by that, but once they step back and survey the situation for what it truly is, they may well feel that they’ve dodged a bullet.
Wesley Sneijder is a very talented footballer, but he’s undeniably been in steady decline since 2010. The temptation when a player has a year like that, is to allow them to exist on reputation for the rest of their career, rather than to properly evaluate their contemporary usefulness. Sightings of the Dutchman at San Siro have become few and far between, but if you have managed to catch one of his performances for Inter Milan over the last 36 months, then you’ll have seen a shadow of the player who Jose Mourinho was able to build his Champions League-winning side around.
Egotistical, entitled, selfish – these are all worthy synonyms with Sneijder, and they’re all qualities that the Liverpool dressing-room could clearly do without. Brendan Rodgers’ side are young and developing, and logic implies that they will mature together – and while Sneijder may have made the Liverpool first-team marginally more competitive in the short-term, his long-term value and legacy would have probably just been that of a ‘me first’ drain on resources.
‘Drain on resources’ however, doesn’t really do the Dutchman’s salary justice. Galatasary are going to be paying a King’s Ransom to employ Sneijder, and that’s exactly the kind of financial burden Liverpool need to avoid until they re-establish themselves in the Champions League.
It would have been terribly exciting to see him in the Premier League, but it wouldn’t have been a particularly smart move. There are far better, far cheaper, and far more viable options out there.
If you’re still not convinced, think about this: how many clubs must have passed on the player before he eventually committed to Gala? Sneijder’s agent would have placed a call to all the PSGs, the Manchester Uniteds, the Bayern Munichs, the Chelseas, and each time he would have been told ‘thanks, but no thanks’. If clubs like that – all with the resources to comfortably take that kind of risk – weren’t willing to pony-up for the play-maker, what does that tell you?
Liverpool should never have gone anywhere near him, and they’ve done exactly the right thing in staying clear. Wesley Sneijder is just a name and a reputation, he’s not a logical next-step for this club.