It did not take long for the doors to get blasted off the 2018 summer transfer window, with Liverpool wasting no time at all to kick-off the festivities and fireworks that are sure to follow in style.
Just 48 hours after losing the Champions League final to Real Madrid and mere hours after rumors of their interest first made the rounds, Liverpool announced the €50m signing of Fabinho, gazumping the likes of Manchester United and Atlético Madrid for one of Europe’s best midfielders.
It was a jaw-dropping piece of apparent transfer market efficiency.
Liverpool have made a €50M plus bonuses bid for Fabinho. Negotiations between Liverpool and Monaco are underway. Very good négociations. Player very interested. #LFC— Mohamed Bouhafsi (@mohamedbouhafsi) May 28, 2018
Like Manchester City last year with their €50m capture of Bernardo Silva (also from Monaco), Liverpool have now set the tone for the summer and the rest of us are all playing catch-up.
There are certainly lessons to be learned and inspiration to take from this. Liverpool have achieved a bit of a holy trinity in fact with the transfer, landing a 24-year-old for a reasonable fee — only €10 million more than what Chelsea paid for former teammate Tiémoué Bakayoko — in expedited fashion, to say the least, and perhaps most impressively, by keeping it under wraps until the very last moment. In these days of constant media attention, that’s quite impressive (and probably quite useful in terms of negotiations).
Meanwhile, over at Chelsea, we are still just trying to figure out who the next manager will be, how to get rid of Antonio Conte (not necessarily in that order), and what overall strategy we should be following in the market (links with Lewandowski don’t speak highly of the needed emphasis of making smart, young signings). Though maybe we can hope that just like Liverpool, we’ll surprise everybody with a massive signing.