Ever since the Premier League became popular, players from around the world have arrived by the truckloads to ply their trade in England. The last two decades have seen a steady rise (and sometimes exponential) in the number of foreign players signing for EPL clubs.
That has had a huge effect and has seen the number of Englishmen in various clubs’ squads reduce. English was no longer the most common language in the dressing room as French and Spanish players arrived by the dozen. Nowadays, knowledge of more than one language seems like a must for managers and players if one wants to communicate with other members of the squad.
Sadly, England has fallen behind when it comes to producing players of world class quality. 2004 seems to be the last time England saw a world class talent emerge when a young Wayne Rooney lit up Euro 2004.
Nowadays, English players are overhyped and their transfer market value has been inflated to ridiculous levels. It has seen managers go for foreign players who are not only cheaper but also add more value to the squad. It comes as no surprise now that English players simply complement the world class stars at various clubs.
Apart from the young core such as Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli, who are yet to prove themselves on a regular basis at the top, English players who can grab headlines are few and far between. Managers have also taken advantage of the ‘Homegrown Players’ rule to bring in foreign players at a young age and ensure they spend three years in the country before their 21st birthday – as a squad player or out on loan.
Thus, most top clubs now have very few Englishmen in the starting lineup. CIES Football Observatory calculated exactly how many minutes English players have played in the Premier League since the start of the season and the trend shows that clubs at the top of the table have seen English players play much fewer minutes than their foreign teammates.
A look at the table shows that it is clubs at the bottom or newly promoted clubs that see English players play more minutes than other clubs. The odd one out here is Everton. Currently fifth, the Merseyside club has seen English player play more than half the total minutes.
But look further and you see the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea at the bottom with less than 25% of minutes played by Englishmen. However, Watford has seen English players play only 9% of the total minutes so far after seven gameweeks.
|#||Club||%age mins played|
|8||West Bromwich Albion||38%|