By Gabe Campis, @G_Campisi123
Part of growing as a footballer is having time to learn what it takes to play first-team football on a consistent basis.
Whether you’re a squad rotational player or a superstar who jumped onto the scene at a very young age, you need that consistent playing time before you will reach your potential. These are the reasons why Ousmane Dembele, Kylian Mbappe and other wonderkids shouldn’t be too eager to leave their clubs right now.
The notorious stories of young players who have crashed and burned after making big money moves are fun to laugh at but in reality are sad. They end up at clubs such as Manchester United or Real Madrid with high expectations and even higher competition. A lot of the time they will find themselves out on loan in Holland or out of favor with the manager, with no real hope of breaking into the squad. By the time they’re 26-27 we forget all about them, and next thing you know they’ve played for about 8 clubs in 8 years.
One of the most notorious examples of this is the young dutch winger Memphis Depay. Personally one of my favorite players during his time at PSV Eindhoven, he made a move to Manchester United in 2015 after Louis Van Gaal, his manager with the Netherlands National Team, convinced him to do so. Coming off a terrific 2014/2015 campaign in the Dutch Eredivisie where he was top scorer with 22 goals, Depay failed to live up to expectations for the Mancunian side, and after Van Gaal resigned, new manager Jose Mourinho shipped him out to Lyon.
Now of course I’m not saying this will happen to Mbappe or Dembele, and there is obviously more to consider than playing time when making a move like that. The wages these players make are surely several times more than they did at previous clubs, and that was part of the problem with Memphis, as he got caught up in the life of luxury. However, I do think if Mbappe makes a move to Madrid or Dembele to Barcelona they will find themselves sitting on the bench behind other world class players who have already proved their worth.
All in all I don’t see Borussia Dortmund or Monaco selling these players anytime soon, as both clubs are close to becoming consistent contenders in Europe. But it’s also not in the player’s best interest either because once you take the cash it’s hard to give it back.