Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel has said he believes this summer of record-breaking transfer fees for goalkeepers reflects how important the position has become for title-chasing clubs, and thinks that Paris Saint-Germain’s €222m signing of Neymar last summer has sparked the surge in prices for top goalkeepers.
Liverpool paid the largest ever amount for a goalkeeper to sign Brazil international Alisson from Roma for £67m earlier this summer, a fee which is set to be eclipsed by Chelsea to bring in Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbaobefore Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Schmeichel, speaking ahead of Friday night’s Premier League season-opening match against Manchester United at Old Trafford, thinks that Neymar’s world-record move to PSG last summer has led to top goalkeepers costing so much now.
“I think generally transfers are ridiculously high at the moment,” Schmeichel told ESPN Brasil before it was confirmed that Kepa’s €80m release clause had been paid. “It was only a matter of time before goalkeepers would get in on the act, because a good goalkeeper can be the difference between winning the league and not winning the league.
That’s the market at the moment. I think the Neymar transfer was pivotal to everything. Prices became very inflated and from there it was always going to reach every position. You saw it with Virgil van Dijk [defender who joined Liverpool from Southampton for £75m in January] and now with Alisson – the market value has really gone up high.”