Judging our site metrics, you all love talking about transfer rumors. Each and every summer, CdT becomes a hive of activity as the world’s rumor mongers connect hordes of names to the Giallorossi, and while less than 1% of these ultimately come to fruition, they’re still fun to talk about. Everyone has their own vision of how Roma should run, but there are really two main tracks: spend big and ask questions later, or invest in youth.
However, when it comes to the moves the club actually makes, the opinions are a practically limitless. So when we publish a “Official: Roma Signs ________” post, the comments are usually...umm...interesting. There are arguments about tactical fit, psychological makeup and, as always, cost, and while it sounds trite to say it, we’ll say it anyway; a player is worth what a club is willing to pay.
For many, that platitude is infuriating. Surely there has to be some slightly objective means by which we can compare the quality of any given purchase, right?
Well, you’re in luck. The fine folks at the CIES Football Observatory recently published what they call an ‘economic checkup’ in which they compare the price paid to an estimated fair price that “corresponds to the average between the estimated cost for the most likely buyer before the transfer and the current transfer value.”
Topping out the list is new Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois, who went to Real Madrid for approximately €23 million less than his estimated fair price. Following Courtois is Rodri Hernandez who move to for nearly €22 million below his estimated fair price, which brings us to Bryan Cristante.
All told, Roma will pay €30 million for Cristante, who CIES values at €49 million, meaning Roma beat the mark by nearly €20 million, and as we all know, the bulk of that €30 million wasn’t even paid up front. So, even though they’re robbing Peter to pay Paul (in a sense), Monchi appears to have done quite well in this deal, and while EDF hasn’t quite exactly worked out how to use Cristante in conjunction with the rest of his midfield, one tends to worry less about Cristante than some of Roma’s other recent signings.
Still, it wasn’t all good news for Monchi on last summer’s market according to CIES. Roma undersold Radja Nainggolan by nearly €13 million and, even though it was a world record fee (for, like, three days) Roma still came up short on Alisson, selling short by almost €7 million, while overpaying for Javier Pastore by a whopping €17 million.
Now, this is just one firm's proprietary algorithm kicking out a few numbers, so I’d preach some patience, but it seems about right. Cristante (again, assuming EDF can figure him out) looks set to become one of the league’s most complete midfielders in due time, while also becoming a rock for the Azzurri, while most people scoffed at the €24 million Roma paid for Pastore, though I’m not sure many of us were too upset (financially speaking) by the Alisson windfall.
Ultimately this is an exercise in hindsight, though I’d be curious to know if Roma has their own metrics for these scenarios when entering negotiations, but it is nice to see that Monchi did so well on Cristante, the summer’s biggest outlay.