Australian journalists aren’t sure John Bateman is worth the money Wests Tigers will be paying him.
The Tigers paid $250,000 to sign Bateman from Wigan Warriors and he is now reported to be on $800,000 on a four year deal with the club.
However, Daily Telegraph journalist Phil Rothfield isn’t sure he is worth that much in today’s game saying on NRL 360:
“To be paying John Bateman, who did have a great year, $800,000 when most edge forwards now, the Olakau’atu, Kikau, Liam Martin, big strong and powerful.
“I don’t think he’s got that build anymore and I’m not sure it is $800k well spent, I might be wrong.”
Meanwhile, Paul Kent echoed these thoughts:
“And the danger with that is that he has come back into the game and he is in his position as a small forward.
“It is a long-term deal to try and get through.”
This all comes as Rothfield revealed that Wigan were happy to let him go after his form in 2022:
“I’m told that Wigan, although they demanded a transfer fee, weren’t all that fussed about letting him go,” Rothfield said.
“His form was nothing like the year he was Dally M Backrower of the Year at the Raiders.”
Bateman’s move was delayed by Visa checks and police checks but they are now all complete and Bateman is in Australia.
However, as he gets up to speed, he will miss the opening games of the season.