Man City turn $13-million profit on Unal, who never played for club

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
1 Comment

If only everything we buy in life — a house or a car, for instance — could appreciate in value the way that Enes Unal did while at Manchester City.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Unal, a striker who moved to Man City from Bursaspor at the age of 18 two summers ago, cost the Premier League side a paltry $2.5 million at the time. Having spent two years “at the club” (he went on loan three times) and failed to gain a work permit, the 20-year-old Turkish international is off to Villarreal, for a transfer fee of $15.5 million.

The transfer agreement between the two clubs also includes a buy-back fee in the neighborhood of $22.5 million. City would only exercise such a clause of Unal reaches an elite level, at which point they’d have acquired a world-class striker only just entering the prime of his career, for all of $9.5 million at the end of the day.

[ MORE: Zlatan had ACL surgery 30 days ago, and he’s already working out ]

It’s a decent bit of business, if you’ve got 1) cash in excess to essentially write off if/when it doesn’t work out; 2) all the time in the world with which to play the “long game.”

Unal scored 19 goals in 33 appearances (all competitions) while on loan to Eredivisie side Twente this season. He scored 11 in 28 during a pair of half-season loan spells, to Belgian side Genk and Dutch second-division side NAC Breda.