Premier League clubs are scrambling around to sign home-grown players this summer.
I thought I would touch upon some of the reasons why big clubs tend to recruit players from abroad, which all add up to Premier League teams being stacked full of foreign players.
English players always seem to have a big premium on their head. When an English player starts to show any promise, he suddenly becomes Europe’s brightest talent, or the next big English superstar.
The latest player being lauded as the next big thing is Aston Villa’s young midfielder Jack Grealish, who recently caused controversy by being pictured lying in the road seemingly unconscious on his summer holidays.
He may become a good player in the future, but no doubt his price tag would be staggering if somebody attempted to buy him this summer.
The reason for the premium is because there seems to be a dearth of quality young English players coming through the system. The big English targets for the rich Premier League clubs this summer seem to be Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere and Harry Kane.
The trio are mooted to have price tags of over £40million on their heads. None of the three can claim to be consistent top-flights performers, yet they are valued so highly by their clubs, simply because it is supply in-demand.
Sterling no doubt has promise, but he has just finished what could only be described as a lukewarm campaign. The fact that he was being rest because he was tired at one stage of last season is ridiculous considering he is just 20-years-old.
Liverpool are believed to want £50million for the star on the back of his potential. Manchester City have had two bids rejected for the winger, but are resounding favourites to be Sterling’s next club at odds of 1/7.
I am big fan of Harry Kane and he has enjoyed a very good debut campaign in the Premier League with Tottenham, scoring 31 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions last season.
Kane looks to have a bright future in the game, but a reported valuation of £50million for a player who has played in the Premier League for just one full season seems a bit much.
Jack Wilshere has been heralded as the future of the England midfield, a player who will grab games by the scruff of the neck and control them. At 23-years-old Wilshere has yet to fulfil much of his potential in an England shirt, yet is reported to be valued at £40million by Arsenal, with City lurking in the shadows.
Again Wilshere does have potential, but he also has a propensity to do silly things and get himself into trouble. He also has a worse injury record than the English blind motorcycle stunt team. Every time he takes to a pitch you fear for his safety.
Wilshere’s style of play is very combative, so that does not help his chances of staying injury-free either. He is a decent player, but for that sort of cash you could get better value on the continent.
The simple truth is foreign players are just better value for money. A good example of better value abroad is the case of Hoffenheim based Brazilian attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino.
The Brazilian international has been consistently impressive in the Bundesliga in recent seasons and is being linked with both Manchester United and Liverpool. The mooted fee is anywhere from £14million to £25million, but still far cheaper than Sterling or Wilshere.
Liverpool could sell Sterling, sign Firmino and still have change to bring in another addition to their squad.
Another example would be Croatia and Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic, who is set to join Juventus for a fee in the region of £20million. He may be far older than Kane and have less of a sell-on value, but he has scored goals in both Germany’s and Spain’s top-flight in recent seasons.
Yet he is rated at £30million less than Harry Kane who has had one, albeit excellent, campaign in the Premier League.
The Premier League is awash with money and it seems clubs cannot wait to splash out on often overrated English players. Fans may say that there are too many foreign players in the English top-flight.
However, if English players are good enough they will breakthrough into the first teams of the big clubs. If they are not then they will find their correct level in the game.
At the moment it is probably true that most Premier League fans do not care about where their players come from, as long as they are good enough. For me a lot of English players are not technically good enough to compete with their foreign rivals.
The Premier League clubs have to do what is best for them and signing a player just because he is English, or has potential is damn right crazy.
Are English players overvalued?