There has been so much talk about Everton’s John Stones and West Brom’s Saido Berahino going to ‘bigger clubs’ in the last few weeks, it must be annoying for fans of their current clubs. Both Everton and West Brom were expected to just roll over and let the players leave.
Both players are now reported to have handed in transfer requests at their current employers and quite refreshingly both have been flatly turned down.
Today player power is the be-all and end-all. The players seem to have far too much power in football these days, especially with money-grabbing agents influencing them.
They may be the product that fans come to see, but at the end of the day they belong to their clubs and it is their clubs who own them.
So it is right that both clubs have put their foot down and stated that neither of the players are leaving, which is refreshing by modern day standards.
Berahino has reportedly taken the Baggies decision badly and removed any connection with West Brom from his Twitter account. What next is he going to throw himself on the floor and start kicking his feet like a toddler?
West Brom boss Tony Pulis decided to drop the Burundi-born striker from the matchday squad to face champions Chelsea last weekend because of the transfer speculation, but the Baggies have stated he may feature against Stoke this weekend.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez decided to go the other way and selected Stones for the Toffees enthralling 5-3 victory at the centre-backs former-club Barnsley in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.
As expected he got a reception that was not exactly warm from the Everton fans, which they cannot really be blamed for.
Football, like any walk of life really is dominated by the rich. If a football club has money then they will obviously have better players, coaching staff and facilities.
They will also have the financial resources to go out and strengthen their squad when they need to. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and to a certain extent Manchester United have dominated the Premier League over the last decade because of money.
Even Arsenal have struggled to compete with the aforementioned three, as boss Arsene Wenger has stubbornly stuck to his notions of value for money. Even after the north London club finished paying the bill for the Emirates Stadium, Wenger has been reluctant to spend money.
That has meant it has been over a decade since Arsenal have won a Premier League title, despite the fact that they always seem so close to being genuine challengers.
The influx of money into the game through sponsorship and television money means that finance is bigger than ever. It also means that top-flight clubs should no longer have to sell their prize assets and that maybe coming out in West Brom’s refusal to sell Berahino.
The word from Everton seems to be that they have no need to sell their prize asset Stones neither.
The latest stance from West Brom and Everton may mean that the clubs who do not have major financial resources have decided not to be bullied by the richer clubs in the top-flight.
All the rubbish about letting the player go to improve themselves is usually spouted by fans of these richer clubs. Would Stones win more trophies at Chelsea than Everton? Yes. Will he spend more time on the bench at Chelsea than Everton? Yes.
Would a move to Chelsea be good for his development? That remains to be seen, as he would face far stiffer competition for a starting place at Stamford Bridge. He is at the stage of his career where he needs games to develop.
John Terry may be in the latter stages of his career, but Blues boss Jose Mourinho is not just going to discard him because he has had a few poor games. He would also have to compete with international teammate Gary Cahill and promising young French centre-back Kurt Zouma for a starting berth.
The current stances at the respective clubs are refreshing and I hope that it leads to clubs taking control, rather than the players holding all the cards in the future. I just hope it is not a tactic from both clubs to hold out for more money, which they are of course entitled to do.
Berahino and Stones may still move to Spurs and Chelsea respectively before the transfer deadline, but at least their clubs will have claimed to have tried to keep their prize assets, unlike in previous transfer windows, where players would have walked all over the clubs and got exactly what they wanted.
Will Stones and Berahino leave their current clubs before the transfer window shuts?
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