NRL’s newest million dollar man
DAVID Fifita's a man in demand, and understandably so.
The blockbusting Brisbane youngster's value continues to rise after a series of performances that can only make you lean forward in amazement.
In just his second NRL season, the 19-year-old is averaging 54 minutes, 9.5 runs, 89 metres and 19.4 tackles per game. He's scored seven tries - three of them in the past fortnight - to go with an impressive 11 linebreaks and a whopping 72 tackle busts.
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Off-contract at the end of the 2020 season, Fifita can officially negotiate with rival clubs from November 1 and they're lining up to try and snare him away from Red Hill - as many as 10 including Canterbury, Parramatta and the Warriors, according to reports.
While Fifita has publicly declared he wants to stay at the Broncos, he's got a huge decision to make with rivals prepared to splash up to $1 million per season to lure him.
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold has insisted they won't lose Fifita, with the club reportedly offering around $700,000 per season to retain him.
Former Penrith supremo, Phil Gould, reckons even that amount is a bit much to be paying the Queensland Origin representative at this stage in his career.
"I'd find it very, very hard to pay him that sort of money," Gould told Channel 9's 100% Footy.
"To get him out of Brisbane you have to pay ($700,000). I don't think Brisbane should have to pay that to keep him.
"He's a great young talent, but if you're going be paying people that sort of money, they've got to be contributing to a 70 per cent win rate, they've got to be a pointscorer, a points creator.
"I just don't know in a salary cap whether you can be paying a bloke that kind of money.
"His best bet is to go to a club where he can win premierships and take less. Play plenty of rep football, win premierships, take a little less money and play with quality players.
"If someone pays him a million dollars, he's going to be playing for a bottom-four club and they're going to expect him to win games for them. I just think that's not the best thing for his career at the moment.
"There's plenty of contracts down the track, but right at this stage, he's got to be the best footballer he can be and that's to be in a good system with good players, playing rep football and getting opportunities to win premierships.
"At the end of your career, you can't put a price on that, because at the end of your career, that's what matters the most."
Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen, who will retire a one-club player with the Sharks at the end of the season, agreed with Gould's sentiments.
"I could've gone to other clubs and earned more money and may have won another premiership, maybe not," Gallen said.
"To stay at Cronulla and win a premiership means the world to me. The fact I won a premiership. That's what you need to do as a rugby league player. You need to win a premiership.
"They've got a great roster up there at the moment, the Broncos. They're going really well and they're only going to build over the next couple of years.
"It'd be a big consideration to stay there for less money."