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Paying The Price For English Talent

Ryan Wood
837   //    15 Jul 2011, 01:10 IST
It’s fair to say that over the past couple of years the  footballing world has spent most of its time admiring Spanish football and drooling at moments of brilliance from the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Villa as England manage to disappoint again and again on the big stage.

Even the likes of Germany, Uruguay and Holland boosted their reputations further with great performances in the recent World Cup with Ozil, Forlan and Suarez all lighting up the tournament in parts.

So, after the recent transfers of Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones to Liverpool and Manchester United respectively, surely it’s time to look at why clubs insist on spending top dollar for English players and why these players deserve, or don’t deserve, the hefty price tags layed upon them.

If we look back as recently as the 2010/2011 Premier League season, it’s clear to see that the stand-out performers were mostly foreign imports from across the world. Nine of the Premier League ‘Team of the Year’ were NOT English, leaving just Wilshere and Ashley Cole representing our nation. Not an inspiring statistic.

Jordan Henderson, who has just completed a £20 Million move to Anfield, was listed on the official FIFA website as one of the thirteen young players to watch in 2011, ranking alongside Atletico Madrid’s David De Gea and Anderlecht’s Romelu Lukaku. FIFA also added that Henderson is “Composed, athletic and powerful”, but with just one stand 0ut Premier League season under his belt, it remains to be seen whether the young midfielder justifies such a high transfer fee when the likes of Javier Hernandez and Peter Odemwingie were both purchased for way under the £10 Million mark last season, going on to be key figures for their respective clubs.

Phil Jones will also have to work very hard to justify his £17 Million transfer to Manchester United, considering Nemanja Vidic was brought to Old Trafford for  just £7 Million.

It looks as though teams are confident enough to look outside of England for talent, hoping that the certain player they target will fit into their side and be at home in the fast-paced Premier League, but when a homegrown player shows that he has the ability to perform at the highest level, it seems that the top sides are eager to sign them up regardless of the price.

Andy Carroll was snapped up by Liverpool for £35 Million last season, a price many feel to be outrageous. Carroll had a great start to the season at St James’ Park and is a very talented player but when you look around the Premier League, there are many others that performed equally or better than Carroll and who were, more importantly, poached for less than half of Carroll’s transfer fee.

It’s great to see young players emerging from England and breaking into the top sides in the Premier League but you can’t help but think that, if given the chance, other young players could do similar things potentially dropping the asking price of certain players.  This could then allow young English talent to make more of an established presence in club football, lessening the need for foreign imports.

Ryan Wood
Ryan Wood is a BA Journalism student at the University of Central Lancashire who harbours a somewhat unhealthy obsession for all things football. Editor and Founder of 'That Saturday Feeling'.
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