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Why are English players so overpriced?

England midfielder Adam Lallana completed a big money move to Liverpool this summer, but is he worth more than Toni Kroos?

England midfielder Adam Lallana completed a big money move to Liverpool this summer, but is he worth more than Toni Kroos?

The summer transfer window has illustrated the sheer insanity of the current transfer market, in particular the fact that English players seem to be costing far more than their European contemporaries.


The British media tend to have this habit of overhyping any young English player that makes it through to the first team of basically any Premier League club.

They are lauded as the next big superstar, or the next saviour of the England team.

I have got carried away by young players in the past, but my fervour towards the youngsters tends to be tinged with a note of realise that the young player only has potential.

I do not claim that they will be world beaters or world-class stars, because in truth very few do.

Comparison one

English players being hyped-up leads to them generally costing a king’s ransom in the transfer market. A good comparison to be made this summer is the transfers of Germany international Toni Kroos to Real Madrid and England midfielder Adam Lallana to Liverpool.

Real Madrid are reported to have paid £24million for Kroos, who to be fair has just won the World Cup and is looking like one of the best playmakers in the world game. The 24-year-old played a crucial part in Germany trouncing hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-final.

Kroos only had a year left on his contract at former-club Bayern Munich, so that was likely to reduce the fee slightly, but when compared to the £25million Liverpool paid for Lallana it looks a bargain.

At 26 years of age Adam Lallana is a player entering his prime and his form for Southampton last season helped him gain a place in the England World Cup squad. The playmaker made two substitute appearances and one start in Brazil, as the Three Lions were tamed by Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Lallana is a talented enough player and has just come off the back of the best season of his career. However is he really worth more than World Cup winner Kroos?

My opinion is that he is not, but football is all about opinions. Maybe most Liverpool fans are happy with their club bringing in Lallana. Judging from a lot of message boards and fans forums Reds fans are happy he has joined, but are questioning his price tag, which really is fair enough at this stage.

Comparison two

Then there is Luke Shaw’s transfer to Manchester United for a fee in the region of £32million, compared to Chelsea’s capture of Brazilian left-back Felipe Luis for half the price.

Shaw is 19 years old and does look like a very good prospect for the future. However, his price tag just illustrates perfectly the nature of buying and selling English players. The youngster may go on to have a glittering career at Old Trafford, who knows maybe become a world-class star.

I am a big fan of Shaw and hope he develops into a top-class talent for the sake of the England national team. Is he worth twice as much as Luis who has just won the La Liga title with Atletico Madrid and got to the Champions League final?

The fact that people are questioning Luis’ talent because of the fact that he missed out on Brazil’s World Cup squad is just silly. Luis was part of the one of the best defences in the European game last season. That says it all about his ability.


The fact that English players are costing more than their European colleagues is leading to problems. One of those problems is big fees lead to big expectations and pressure. That can also lead to younger players losing their way in the game.

It hurts me to say this, but as the World Cup proved English players are just not as good as their world rivals. The fact that they cost more to buy is just adding to the problem.

Teams can be successful if they invest their money wisely in talented players, but at the moment there is just no value in signing English players. Do not get me wrong I like both Shaw and Lallana.

However I believe if the pair was from any other nation they would have cost much less than their summer transfer fees. There is a reason that most Premier League squads are full of foreign players.

Sad but true the reason is that English clubs can go abroad and sign players for a fraction of the cost of English players. That is unlikely to change in the near future and the English top-flight will continue to be full of foreign players, which unfortunately will likely reflect in the England national team’s performance at major tournaments.

Why are English players so overpriced?

Sat 19 Jul, 2014
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  1. James says:

    Over priced English players brings high expectations and if they don’t perform, that’s almost the end of their career. There is no mercy from the club and they find themselves sold to clubs they feel are below them and soon the psychological battle is lost.
    The foreign ownership of the English clubs too does not help towards this end. When a club takes the approach of buying more English players, the fans makes noise as they feel their club needs to make big name signings to compete.
    The money involved in football is obscene. The club that is able to rake in millions or millions from sponsorship deals will always be able to buy players that are beyond the reach of 75% of the premier league.
    The sad truth is that English football is the real loser. Though I am not English, however I have been a supporter of the English national team since young, but at the rate English football is going, I’ll never in my remaining life see England lift the World Cup.

  2. Yossarian says:

    You cannot compare kroos, he would not play for LFC and also when we go calling they put the price of every player up including foreign players!!!

    Also tournament football like the WC is not the same as the EPL a lot of foreign players do not adjust, most that do take a year even Suarez and he was not the finished article we me made him.

    We had a young team at the WC and we were very unlucky, watch those players in two yrs time, you won’t be saying the same thing, grow up and start watching Eruopean football.

  3. David Nugent says:

    Sorry Yossarian, did you mean European football? Do you really think I would be here writing articles if I did not watch European football? I think it is you that needs to grow up. I did not claim that Luke Shaw was a poor player, in fact I stated he may develop into a world-class player. In future before you make silly comments read the article properly and then we can have a proper discussion.

  4. Bayern says:

    Yossarian, you’re delusional… The only reason you can’t compare Kroos and Lallana is because Lallana is NOWHERE near Kroos’ level. Like the article states, Kroos is one of the best playmakers in the world which is NO overstatement and by the way Kroos is also 2 years younger than Lallana lol. If he can start and win the Champions League with Bayern and start and win the World Cup for Germany, then he could get a starting spot at any top club including Liverpool. It seems like you watch Liverpool and only Liverpool. You seem like the one that doesn’t watch other European football with your defensive, biased comments. How about you grow up…

  5. David says:

    Allot of ppl still think that the EPL is the stringest league out there….
    It ain’t .. Sorry guys but it really isnt

    Why am i saying this?
    -English teams dont do as good anymore in european competitions
    -the quality of english footbal has droped imensly!
    -england as country, hasnt been doing thatt wel either

    Shure the epl is one of the most physical comp out there^^
    And shurely has allot of ” strong” teams
    More then any other comp has ( most other comp have 1-3 top clubs while the epl has allot more ” potentional top clubs”

    But a fact is that even the english top clubs, are far weaker then most other eur. Top clubs

    Look at the epl.. Man city
    Total beast team in the epl…

    Champ league? Nothing worth mentioning

    And sorry british ppl/ epl fans
    Im realy not trying to bring you guya down! Im a big epl fan!

    But a fact is that french, german, spanish footbal has been( getting) far better& stronger/ more effective!
    If you compare it to epl teams

    The italian teams are halfway their ” recovery” state i would say… They had some years where most top clubs where rubbish but now are getting stronger again
    Portugueae footbal hmm idk, i would say they have ups and downs some years benfica and fc porto seem to have top teams, other seasons they have avarage teams but even so! A strong benfica of this year would be strong enough to finish secons or third in the epl!

    How do i come to these conclusion?
    I watch footbal
    From almost every part of the world…
    Name it!
    From Brazilian comp to russian

    I just hope managers like van gaal and jose mourinho can pump up the epl a little
    Bccs they do need it to actually be worthy of the name” strongest league”

  6. Romney Galvao says:

    They are so overpriced because there aren’t that many exceptional English talents. Majority of the good English talents are overrated by the English media because they are English. If they were a different nationality in a different league the y would not be mentioned.

  7. Romney Galvao says:

    They are so overpriced because there aren’t that many exceptional English talents. Majority of the good English talents are overrated by the English media because they are English. If they were a different nationality in a different league they would not be mentioned.

    People on City for not having enough English players and spending too much money. But they can’t buy English players without spending a lot of money. It’s stupid really.

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