While the transfer market across Europe has exploded in a way that few could have seen coming at the beginning of the summer, Real Madrid’s purchase of Vinicius Junior has made clear their transfer market plan.
The early identification of talent has been absolutely crucial to Los Blancos over recent seasons with the most notable achievement in this regard being Marco Asensio.
Asensio’s signing cost Real Madrid just 3.5 million euros in 2014 but it is now quite fair to categorise him as a player worth more than 100m euros given the current market.
Just how quickly the 21-year-old has developed in the Spanish capital has really energised those working behind the scenes at Valdebebas and there is now a real determination to identify such talents early and sign them before the market places them at unreachable levels.
Zinedine Zidane and Florentino Perez would have loved to have signed Kylian Mbappe this summer but ultimately his exposure at the top level of European football ensured Paris Saint-Germain were willing to offer the teenager such an astronomical salary, one which Real Madrid simply wouldn’t try and compete with.
In 2017 it appears that the real value in the transfer market comes from as yet undiscovered gems and finding the next Mbappe is what Los Blancos have set their sights firmly upon.
Of course the 45m euros spent on Vinicius is clearly not cheap but the payment structure ensures that it is an investment and should he develop quickly and burst onto the mainstream scene then Real Madrid already have him secured.
Now, this isn’t necessarily a new plan with the club having previous beaten a whole host of elite clubs including Bayern Munich and Barcelona to the signing of Martin Odegaard back in 2015.
The Norwegian playmaker is still trying to find his way and is currently on loan with Heerenveen in the Eredivisie but there remains hope in Madrid that he too will eventually develop and fulfil his potential.
Real Madrid is a global brand and as such their search for talent reaches every corner of the world because it is never clear just where the next superstar will emerge from.
In an era where transfer fees have gone crazy, Los Blancos are determined to be at the front of the queue when the next star does appear.