I don't usually start articles by quoting a Playstation game, but here we are. Reading are reportedly set to sign Asamoah Gyan. There are no rules anymore.
My problem with the club doing this is that we've been here before. Royston Drenthe, Yakubu, Les Ferdinand, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Matej Vydra, Danny Guthrie, Martin Keown. What happens when Reading throw cash at a big name? Bad things happen.
The instant riposte to this financial outlook is that Gyan won't cost us anything. This loan deal will see his ball-achingly huge wages covered by Shanghai and we'll just pay a fee of £2-3 million or something (putting him in our top five-biggest single outlays in history). But, there is one very big risk: he turns out to be crap. What do you do with a big-name star who fails to perform on the pitch?
Drop him, and you get a Guthrie situation, the dressing room is rocked, and on-pitch performances are soon affected. Keep playing him, and you get a Vydra situation, you lose games. I don't know where our priorities are these days, but a signing who may make us lose games is a pretty fat risk.
You can also factor in the off-pitch consequences of dropping a money-oriented, big-cheese, player into a dressing room that the club have done really well to fill with young, hungry, Championship-wise players. How will Dom Samuel feel if he's shoved out for some bloke on £200k-a-week who doesn't score very often? He could leave, and go on to become an England international, like a certain Mr. Antonio.
Before I indulge in the elephant in the room, I'll reiterate that historically, big-money or big-name signings have never worked for Reading. Needless to say, Emerse Fae, Greg Halford, and Adrian Mariappa are not even close to being remarked upon favourably in West Berkshire.
But, what if Gyan scores 25 goals and Reading get promoted? What if he's a great influence on the youngsters? After all, he's Ghana captain's with 48 international goals, as well as beating a goal-per-game ratio at Al-Ain. Yes, precisely, he has a record of smashing them in against footballing giants Sudan, Guinea, and Al-Shabab. Bar a single season at Sunderland, back in 2010, he's never really done it in Europe.
Asamoah Gyan, therefore, has very little going for him. His mentality and reputation is the chalk to Reading's cheese, just ask Sunderland, and even his goalscoring record lacks pizzazz. He may well go onto lift us to promotion, and then I'll admit I was wrong, shake Prime Minister Corbyn's hand, and jump on the next jet-ship to Jupiter.
Will you be happy with signing Gyan? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Comment below.