With the same inevitability as Big Sam Allardyce being bought into “save” a relegation threatened club, the January Transfer Window sees tabloid journalists brush off their ‘Lionel Messi is coming to England’ copy to offer hope, once again, that the little Argentinian genius would grace the Premier League with his presence.
The smart money is on a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City with the new Blues boss doing what we all do when struggling in a season of Football Manager: buy the most expensive player he can lay his hands on. Further oil has been poured onto the rumour fire by Barca CEO Oscar Grau who stated that the club was not willing to “Break the Bank” to keep Messi in Spain. Break the bank? As little Leo already pockets £35million a year for his footballing efforts, that bird has flown if you ask me. The bank isn’t just broken, it’s out for the season with a double fracture and using an oxygen tent to aid rehabilitation.
But what if we supposed for a second the rumours were true and the man who terrifies defenders in the same way the taxman terrifies him WAS on his way to these shores? What would that be like?
Firstly, remember when arch-rivals Manchester United unveiled £89million Paul Pogba to the world? They hired the help of grime rapper Stormzy. Surely City would have to outdo? As this time we’d talking about a transfer fee no doubt north of two hundred million pounds, I see the only possible option would be the resurrection of Elvis Presley singing “Blue Suede Shoes” as the club launch their own limited edition Suede Messi Adidas Boots (Note: That’s my idea Adidas – hands off).
Secondly we’d see an end to those hilarious “Messi Spotted on the M6 Services” Tweets on Transfer Deadline Day. There would now be every possibility that Messi would be chowing down a cheese and bean slice at Sandbach services which on his way to the Trentham Monkey Forest so the joke would be a bit lost. We’d no doubt hear Alan Shearer providing expert analysis on Messi’s first hat-trick against Leicester City by asking, “But can he do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke?” and it would be a nailed on certainty that Marouane Fellaini would do his best to put Lionel in traction with a well aimed elbow within five minutes of him stepping onto the Old Trafford pitch.
Most of all, Manchester City would suddenly become the favourites to win everything going. Including the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, Grand National, Celebrity Big Brother and my annual family Christmas dinner quiz.
The big question is: Would the “Best Player in the World” want to come to what we are continuously told is the “Best League in the World”? Would he want to leave the club that he has played for and been adored by for 17 years? Would he want to swap the sunshine and Rioja of Catalonia, for the rain and Vimto of Mancunia? I know which one I’d pick. Oh how I love a good Vimto.
I can’t see it. Not only because I can’t begin to imagine a Barcelona side without the mercurial South American. Also because where Pep Guardiola is finding himself tested beyond his imagination by the English game I’m sure twinkle toes Messi would find it equally difficult to adapt. There is a reason why that in the last 20 years only ONE Ballon D’Or winner has come from the Premier League (and that was Ronaldo who then fucked off to Spain the following year). Surely that has to go into his ‘against’ column?
One way or the other in a few weeks the Transfer Window will shut, the talk will dry up and we can repeat the same process, maybe with a different club, every 6 months for the next 6 years or so. Deal?
Good… now, what about Cristiano Ronaldo to United?
Jim is the host of satirical football podcast ‘On The Left Side’ the latest episode of which is OUT NOW. Go have a listen here.