Asier Illarramendi became the sixth most expensive player in Real Madrid's history. He impressed in last year La Liga and on U21 international duty in Israel. Florentino Perez was forced to pay his release clause in order to bring him to Santiago Bernabeu. Will it pay off? Is he worth this much? Only time will tell, but there is one thing we should bear in mind and learn from.
Although Illarramendi made his debut in 2009/10, he played just 303 minutes for both Real Sociedad and Spain U21 until August 2011. He was 21 years old when he broke into first team of Real Sociedad and became regular. He managed to play 18 matches in 2011/12, mainly due injury. In 2012/13, he soon became key player in race to finish forth in La Liga and helped U21 to retain championship.
That's like 50 league appearances in total, yet Real Madrid paid 38 millions of euro for him. The patience of Real Sociedad paid off big time, because Illarramendi is one of the most complete defensive midfielders in the game and already an upgrade to Real midfield.
And the lesson we learnt? Do not write off Josh McEachran. This Illarra story is exact demonstration of Stephen article, which he wrote back in March (Be patient with Josh McEachran). Josh is only 20 years old and has plenty of time to break into first team of Chelsea. Even if he won't manage it this season, goes on loan instead, he still can become key player in future.
We all want regista in our midfield. Chelsea can try to sign one, although none is available this summer, or just be patient with Josh and he will reward us. Maybe even as soon as next season (depending on your positiveness, next is either 2013/14 or 2014/15).