SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 11: Josh Mansour of the Panthers runs the ball during the round one NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels at Panthers Stadium on March 11, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Josh Mansour, arguably the game’s top winger, is off-contract with the Panthers at the end of 2018 and is reportedly looking for a new deal worth around $400,000 a season.

Panthers supremo Phil Gould said on the Monday night 100% footy show that Mansour would be lucky to get to first base asking for that kind of money.

On the surface, Gould’s comments don’t come off as overly crazy. Realistically a winger wouldn’t touch the ball nearly as much as someone playing in the centre of the park.

Considering the likes of Mitch Moses and co were recently reported to have signed deals of around $800,000 a season, can a winger really be worth half as much?

Normally the answer would be no, but this is a game-winning, destructive winger we are talking about here in Josh Mansour.

If I were Gould I wouldn’t have been so quick to rubbish Mansour’s reported figures. Especially with a few clubs having plenty of unused salary cap at their disposal.

A player of Mansour’s pedigree in an ever increasingly important position is sure to be able to command a much larger contract than in years gone by. I don’t know if $400,000 is too far off the mark.

Yes he’s a winger but he’s also a game-breaking player. He can score tries that others can’t. His kick returns are a huge plus for the Panthers coming out of their own end.

I’d think Mansour’s worth would come down to his abilities and past achievements rather than the position he plays.

For the record I wouldn’t be offering an every day winger anywhere near the $400,000 reported, but you’d have to think the likes of Mansour, Valentine Holmes and Suliasi Vunivalu’s worth would far exceed that of an every day winger.

Personally I don’t know how Josh Mansour or his management would feel about Gould’s comments but I can’t imagine it would be in the positive.

Which kind of player wants to hear their club’s top figurehead make such a disparaging gesture re his earning capacity? If I were a betting man, and Mansour’s reported figures are correct, I wouldn’t expect the Blues and Kangaroos winger to be lining up for the Panthers next season.

Considering Mansour is, at worst, maybe the game’s third or fourth best winger, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to his playing future. I’d say that he’d probably walk into any NRL side across the competition except perhaps the Storm. That’s not to say every other club would offer him a position but how many better left wingers are there in the game right now?

I’d argue that Holmes and Vunivalu are numbers one and two but both line-up at club level on the right.

Given Mansour’s talents I’m sure he could adapt to a shift to the opposite wing if need be as Holmes was more than capable of doing it at rep level.

I sure wouldn’t bat an eyelid if my side were to announce Mansour’s signature tomorrow at $400k. I would rather over spend for a world class winger than haggle and watch him walk away.

Reports are that the Eels are big players for his signature and you’d have to believe the Tigers and Knights would come knocking. The cashed-up Sharks back-line is hardly firing and you’d have to think a Holmes/Mansour wing pairing would be almost unstoppable.

Even if he didn’t think Mansour was worth that asking price I don’t think Gould’s comments were helpful.

Mansour was immense on the weekend for his Penrith side. He’s a vital cog in any short or long-term premiership aspirations.

He’s also likely to be the first winger chosen for Origin in a few months time after playing well when called upon for the Kangaroos in the World Cup.

Normally I’d not take too much notice of a winger being brushed aside when requesting such a figure, but with the salary cap the way it is, and the fact that this is Josh Mansour we are talking about, I’d expect he’ll have plenty of interest at that figure.

Wingers these days can do some amazing, game-changing things, and Mansour is right at the top of the list.

Let us know below if you’d be happy for your side to take a $400,000 punt on Josh Mansour.



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