The Death of the Englishman!
Luke Shaw - £30m! Adam Lallana £25m! It seems pretty obvious that aside from the elite, buying the better English players is out of the question.
We have always known that buying English players came at a premium. The acceptance that they knew the language, wouldn`t (in theory) get home-sick and as a result, would be an instant fit into game pace and physicality, the dressing room and clubs culture. Lets ignore the fact that English players seem to lack the technical ability and intelligence of many foreign players, it is all a balancing act of playing safe in how you spend your money.
Problem is that would you spend 50-100% more for English than you would for a talented and established foreign import? In using Shaw and Lallana, I am accepting that they are both excellent players, but are they worth a combined £60m? Shaw could of course play 500+ games for United, get 100+ caps and prove to be a footballing legend, but is paying that much for an 18 year old simply too high?
Cristian Eriksen for £12m or Adam Lallana for £25m? I will let you decide. Probably a close call in terms of ability, but Eriksen is a few years younger, cost half the price and almost certainly earns less a week. if we are looking at new signings, what about Lallana or £15m Bayern Munich player Xherdan Shaqiri? He has already proved he can play in a foreign country and has Champions league and international experience that so far, Lallana can only dream about. Also, what are the odds that he can also speak passable English?
History is littered with over-priced players, but are we more than ever, in an age, where clubs are simply unable or unwilling to buy English players due to their cost and as a result we find ourselves with more Foreign players and more closed doors for home-grown players to develop? We can look at clubs being able to buy emerging young talent, but with the pressure to progress or at least retain your footballing level, will clubs continue to buy for today, as opposed to developing young English players?
All credit to Southampton for playing these young English talent, but they remain very much in the minority, but as long as there is such a price premium for English players, do they have a choice of about five English clubs once they leave their developing one, simply because the rest are priced out of the market? This also begs the question, as to where the game is developing. Is is a sad inevitability that clubs will remain 70% foreign and the home-grown places will be taken by make-weights? In foreign players, is it still only ever going to be a small minority that truly have an affinity to the club and fans and does this actually take the fans even further away from the club they so loyally support regardless?..