Saido Berahino of West Brom and Manchester United’s David de Gea might not like it, but I think it’s good to see clubs refuse to cave in and sell their stars.
It’s common now for players to throw their weight around in an attempt to manufacture a move, ignoring their contractual obligations and coming across like spoilt children.
It’s a game of dare, but clubs know that, whatever threats the player may make about going on strike, it’s unlikely they’ll be prepared to sit on their backsides and do nothing for half a season because if they do others will come into the team and make their mark.
For clubs it’s not the end of the world if a player is unhappy for a couple of weeks. If they want to rot then they can; clubs have enough money now that they don’t need to sell. Berahino and De Gea have to understand that they’ll need to get on with life – and that means a large slice of humble pie.
Take Morgan Schneiderlin last summer at Southampton. He made clear that he wanted to leave but manager Ronald Koeman wouldn’t let him and he duly came back into the side and made an important contribution. You could argue it worked out better for the player, too, as he joined United rather than Tottenham when Saints did let him leave this year.
De Gea is a slightly different scenario, in that it seemed all parties had agreed on a deal, but I’d be surprised if he wasn’t welcomed back into the United side now the move to Real Madrid has collapsed, especially given Sergio Romero’s display in goal during the 2-1 defeat to Swansea on Sunday.
The Spaniard’s situation is far from irretrievable. Wayne Rooney asked to leave and appeared ready to join rivals Manchester City, but he was soon back in the fold and doubts over his commitment soothed.
It will be interesting to see whether De Gea plays in the Champions League, however, as that could affect whether Real want to pay for him in January or wait to get him for nothing next summer.
Trevor Steven is a former England footballer who has played at two World Cups and two European Championships. He now works as a media commentator.