So, with all this fictitious money burning the very real hole in my pocket, I came up with five players I'd love to waste Fenway Sports Group's money on this summer. Today's winner and future Red:
Georginio Wijnaldum - Attacking Midfielder PSV
This is not the time or place for a diatribe on the sickening lack of love given to the Dutch Eredivisie, but if I were to go down such a path, my argument might well start by directing you to the play of Georginio Wijnaldum.
Having transferred for five million euros from Feyenoord in the summer of 2011, the 22 year old progressed nicely in his second season at PSV Eindhoven. 14 goals and seven assists in 33 league appearances was supplemented by a further four goals in the Europa league and helped PSV finish second in the Eredivisie with a chance at squeaking into the Champions League next season.
Though a household name to purveyors of the Eredivisie and Football Manager fans who, alongside Arsene Wenger, have been tracking his development since he sprouted his first dread-lock, Wijnaldum has been somewhat kept out of the spotlight by Europe's obsession with Christan Eriksen (a tremendous player in his own right). While Eriksen has been a key cog for Ajax Amsterdam and the Danish national team for almost four full years now, Wijnaldum has been allowed to quietly continue his steady development rather than shoulder too heavy a burden.
The monster lurking in the shadows finally emerged this summer at the U-21 Euro tournament, where Wijnaldum's well-polished displays suggested Louis van Gaal would be foolish to leave the youngster off his squad for next summer's World Cup. Content to use either foot, cozy as a number 10 as well as out wide, and comfortable scoring as well as assisting, Wijnaldum is a player never in a rush because he already thought two steps ahead. Essentially Joe Cole in a parallel, read - backward, universe.
He wouldn't come cheap and the lack of European football must be a huge thorn in the side of the scouting/recruitment team, but a Premier League move alone could not hurt his World Cup aspirations. Raise the price of Anfield's meat pies by 10 pence, offer him a silly contract, and watch as he and Phil Coutinho terrorizes Premier League defenders all season long.