Why It Is Not Absurd For Fulham To Quote £90 Million Price Tag For Joao Palhinha

Twitter went into meltdown on Tuesday when Fulham's reported Palhinha price tag reached the internet
12:18, 21 Jun 2023

The transfer window is open which can only mean one thing, every man and his dog is an expert on the ins and outs of transfer business.

Every year a player who is attracting widespread interest will have a price tag set by their club to show how much value that individual has to the team. On Tuesday, Fulham reportedly set a price of £90 million for their star midfielder Joao Palhinha, with West Ham United keeping tabs on the Portuguese star in case Declan Rice should leave. 

Not only are Fulham trying to exploit the Hammers’ potential financial gain from the England international, they are highlighting how Palhinha is a key asset to their team. Having arrived at Craven Cottage for around £20m last summer from Sporting CP, the 27-year-old enjoyed a stellar debut Premier League campaign.


The defensive midfielder anchored a well-balanced Fulham engine room as the Cottagers defied the odds and posted a top-half finish in the top flight last year under Marco Silva. The 27-year-old was regarded as one of the signings of the season for his impact in west London. When watching him play you’d notice just how much ground he can cover and how strong he is when it comes to duels. No player made more tackles than him (147) in the whole division last term. 

Palhinha has been key to Fulham’s emphatic return to the Premier League and his club would find it difficult to replace him, which is why they would be asking for such a significant transfer fee.

So when Billy from Ashby-de-la-Zouch tweets that the player is worth around £40m max, it remains baffling at just how many people don’t truly understand how transfers work. These ‘transfer fee gurus’ are just as bad as the ‘ITK’ accounts who work people into a frenzy by claiming that Lionel Messi is at Beaconsfield services. 


Two years ago, people were up in arms about Jack Grealish moving to Manchester City for £100m, saying the attacker wasn’t worth anywhere near that money. He was worth that to Aston Villa. It was clear for all to see that he was levels above the players in that team and all positive play went through him. Villa knew it would be difficult to replicate his influence, which is why they required a record-breaking fee for him.

And given that Grealish has just helped City win the treble, no one has any qualms about the fee now. No doubt Dave from Newcastle went back to delete old tweets about the move back in 2021 to try to spare his blushes. 

Most of these social media transfer experts are confusing reality with Football Manager, FIFA Ultimate Team and more than likely the ins and outs of all the stats available to determine a player’s ‘value’.

Just because Palhinha isn’t a consistent goalscorer or getting many assists doesn’t mean that he is not playing a crucial role in the way Fulham play. The obsession of comparing players based on the stats in black and white is not all of what football is about. It’s what you see on the pitch and, in many cases, some of the excellence you can see from defensive midfielders on the pitch can’t be quantified. 

A lot goes into a real life transfer. A club sets a fee to try to stave off interest from other clubs or ensure they are fairly compensated. Interested parties will try to haggle and in a lot of cases a compromise can be made that suits both the buying and selling club - like in everyday business around the world.

And for all those still thinking £90m is an extortionate amount, the biggest misconception is that the fee is paid in one go. It isn’t. The money is spread out across the contract length the player receives at his new club while they pay a fixed fee up front. 

Here endeth the lesson.

Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: [email protected]

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.