Transfers are often dictated by money but there are other, and more humane, factors for players to consider.
Players often seek moves away from clubs in search of greener pastures. Whether it is due to the chance of increasing one’s wages or to challenge for trophies with a more competitive club, these are reasons commonly associated for the desired transfer of players. What is not often considered are the factors relating to the very livelihood and surroundings of footballers that influence their ultimate choice in destination.
One of the summer’s longest transfer sagas ended two weeks ago when Paris Saint-Germain signed Brazilian Lucas Moura in a reported €45m deal. Yes, money is certainly a factor aligned with nouveau riche PSG but Lucas’ agent Wagner Ribeiro publicised his client’s view of Manchester as ‘boring’ before the deal was announced. Lucas spent some time in Manchester on Olympic duty with Brazil and regarding it as such, he preferred Paris as a city to live in as a club and a city to match his aspirations. For the young 20-year-old, the allure of a glamorous capital city to entertain him away from the field was just as attractive as the pay package he will be receiving.
It is not just the young players either that deliberate on the environment in which they will live as older players are compelled to think about their families and children if pondering a transfer. David Beckham claimed that one of the factors in his decision to stay at LA Galaxy was the contentment of his family living in Los Angeles. In re-joining Cardiff City this summer, Craig Bellamy dropped down a tier and took a wage cut to be closer to his children who reside in South Wales.
For some players a transfer could see them reunited with former teammates or friends. Newcastle target Mathieu Debuchy is seeking a move away from Lille to join his old teammate and best friend Yohan Cabaye. Both players are of the same age and together they rose through the ranks at Lille. In addition to the opportunity for Debuchy to pit himself against the best of the Premier League, a potential move to Newcastle is exciting on a personal level due to his friendship with Cabaye.
And it must surely be more intriguing, and comforting, when a potential new club is filled with compatriots. Chelsea’s Oscar mentioned upon completion of his transfer that the Brazilian influence already present at the club with David Luiz, Ramires and Piazon will undoubtedly help him to adjust to a new language, new culture and new league. A few familiar faces at the club make the task for Oscar to settle in a new country not so daunting and with several Brazilian internationals at the club he can be assured that the national team selectors will monitor his progress.
For recent Everton signing Kevin Mirallas, a combination of the aforementioned elements played a part in his decision to move to Everton. Mirallas revealed he rejected a host of clubs including Arsenal before signing for Everton and the 24-year-old Belgian declared that phone conversations with friend and compatriot Marouane Fellaini were decisive in his eventual choice. What attracted Mirallas furthermore was the ‘family spirit’ of the club and a togetherness that the striker has already bought into.
“Marouane being here was also decisive in making my decision also. We had a couple of phone conversations and it definitely influenced my decision. He convinced me the club was an ideal fit for me and hopefully it is a place where I can exploit my talents and grow as a player and perform well. He told me it was very much a family spirit about the place and I could expect a warm welcome from the fans. Not only has he helped me in coming to the club but I also think he will help me as I settle in as it is always nice to have a fellow countryman beside you when you are getting to know a place.”
Sometimes, it is the humane facets that emerge in a proposed transfer more so than the financially driven motives.
image: © psgmag