Keep those fine emails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Are English teams being boxed out?
Before I begin, everyone knows that current and recently ex-Premier league sides, from top to Sunderland are minted. Another very well-known fact is that most European clubs will attempt to and are confident in their ability to eke out a few million more for a player when selling to a Prem team.
What has shocked me this summer is the lengths some teams will go to avoid selling to a Prem club and the development of relationships between some of Europe’s super clubs. Bayern Munich’s CEO has been very vocal about his concerns over the money in the Premier League and the potential havoc they could create in the Bundesliga (Bayern’s Youth Program.) Unsurprisingly, Bayern seem to be at the heart of it.
Exhibit A: James Rodriguez to Bayern Munich
Easily the most surprising transfer of the summer to which the obvious reaction would be what do Bayern have on Fiorentino Perez. Reportedly holding out for £70m for the likes of Man Utd and Chelsea, a free 2 year loan to a Champions League competitor is unheard of.
Exhibit B: Douglas Costa to Juventus
The James Rodriguez transfer has led to this going under the radar, but it is no less significant. A clearly talented player moving on loan from a team that’s wants to win the Champions League to one that almost won it twice in three years. The opportunity to test a clearly talented player for an entire year before making a decision.
Exhibit C and D: Mehdi Benatia and Kingsley Coman
An established centreback Bayern purchased for £29m went on loan to Juventus for a year with a £20m buying option while Juventus allowed Kingsley Coman to leave on a 2 year loan with <£20m option for a clearly elite talent.
Exhibit E: Leonardo Bonucci to AC Milan
It may only be a rumour as of yet, but it looks like it’s going through. A 30 year old defender no one caref about 20 months ago who was rated at £50m for Prem clubs is being sold to a resurgent rival who will not only challenge for their throne in the near future but also their ability to quietly and efficiently hover up Serie A talent and all for £35m.
A counter argument would be that Premier League sides are incompetent and while that would make the world of sense in relation to the likes of Ed Woodward, I struggle to see how bargain hunters like Daniel Levy and clearly well run outfits like Man City aren’t in on this.
I understand that this may not be the most assertive argument and it hasnt reached the point where Real Madrid quote Man Utd £250m for Ronaldo before loaning him to Bayern for the bantz but you cant argue the fact that there is a relationship growing between those clubs.
Yeabsra A. Ali (Paranoid Prem Fan)
Patience isn’t England’s only issue
Franklin, CFC, Lagos is partly right about the impatience of Premier League teams when it comes to scouting and developing players, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
From an outsider’s perspective it seems that a major part of the reason that English clubs fail to sign and develop young players is that the draconian work permit policies in the U.K. make it a fool’s errand to scout young non-EU talent.
Many other EU leagues have workarounds in place that allow them to bring in at least some young, non-EU players. However, players like Mkhitaryan and Willian, or, for that matter, Messi, Aguero or James Rodriguez, could never be options for English clubs until they became established professionals. African players like Keita (pretty sure Monchi was referring to Seydou Keita, but take your pick of Keitas here) are typically only an option if they also hold a French passport in which case they’re probably already off to France.
Some of these players could be signed and shipped off on loan until they’ve made their name but that means that clubs won’t have direct oversight to their development nor will the players themselves have a chance to adjust to the language, culture, and sh*t weather in England. Aside from that being a dartboard approach that’s really only sustainable by the wealthiest of clubs, it can’t be the most welcoming or appealing option to young prospects.
As for players like Ronaldo and Hazard, the challenge is different. These are EU players with strong leagues in or very near to their home countries. Convincing a 12 year old and his parents that his best option for development is to move to a new and unfamiliar place and be paid a pittance is a tough sell when world-class training facilities that are already accessible to them and much closer to home.
Patience is definitely a factor, but it’s far from the only factor in the question of why English teams aren’t developing great, young, foreign talent. Until the work-permit regulations change, perhaps the better question is this: why aren’t English teams developing great, young, English talent?
Andrew English (LFC in LA)
IT’S NOT A BLOODY DEBUT!
This time of year always raises one of my real pet hates in football – debuts!
For some reason it really annoys me when players are reported to be making their debuts in a pre-season friendly.
The holy grail is of course the debut goal. Just yesterday it was reported that both Lacazette and Rooney scored on their debut/second debut for their clubs. No they didn’t! They played a training match, which people paid (probably, inexplicably, quite a lot) to watch.
I guess it is a symptom of the rolling news coverage we now have for football – there always needs to be something to report. And the actions of a new player in a meaningless match is like a small bit of potato in what is otherwise very thin gruel.
I can understand some fans want to be kept up to date on these things, let us please all agree to stop using the word ‘debut’ for any of this!
Chalobah the one that really annoys Chelsea fans
As a Chelsea fan who has just read of Chalobah moving to Watford, I am once again saddened but I’m getting used to us letting youth prospects go. I am aware that Chalobah chose to go despite Conte “talking” to him but it’s still a little upsetting especially with the recent hullabaloo of Mourinho and promotion of youth.
My bone of contention is not that we don’t play our academy graduates (which is pissing off, but I’ve said enough of that), it’s this infuriating habit of selling off players without securing a replacements. For example,
Conte cutting ties with Costa without first securing a backup striker. Lukaku was first choice, United (good for them) steal him from under our noses. Now, everybody knows we need a striker and so, can pretty much extort as much money as they want due to our desperation.
Chalobah going supposedly because he was worried about his gametime post the arrival of bakayoko, who despite continuously “travelling” to London hasn’t actually signed yet.
Selling Ake and “confirming” that Zouma was available for loan before signing rudiger could’ve panned out much worse, but thankfully didn’t. It seems like an unnecessarily risky game where even if one thing goes wrong, we are left without a player or at the mercy of the selling club.
I agree that some of it is down to emenalo and the transfer team but it’s frustrating as a Chelsea fan to see the club in this state where we’re struggling to get deals done as the goddamn league champions.
Sood CFC (really sad about nouri, puts the rest of this mail into perspective….)
All part of the Southgate masterplan
So Southgate takes over the England job and almost immediately picks the likes of Keane and Livermore who play for what would be considered smaller, “inferior” clubs. Says he’s watching all of the u21 players and would give them a shot if they play a full season of football.
Suddenly Chalobah is gone from Chelsea on a permenant to Watford. Loftus-Cheek takes his first long term loan deal. Tammy Abraham goes to Swansea on loan although admittedly, that one was likely happening anyway. Solanke heads to Liverpool, and it can’t be long before Lewis Baker and Izzy Brown are gone from Chelsea too whether it’s longer loans or permanent moves.
Would that have all happened had Southgate not put those pieces into place with regards to England selection? Or would those kids have been content to stick around at Chelsea for more money and less opportunity?
The difference between Mourinho and Guardiola
Not a fan of either Manchester clubs, but the big difference with Pep and Jose is that Jose talks himself up and Pep talks himself down. Pep takes blame upon himself and talks about a long term vision and doesn’t actually act like a bit of a knob. He actually seems to have a realistic conception of the world whereby success and failure at the highest levels of competition aren’t some divine right, and where even “the best” lose if they stick around long enough.
Mourinho on the other hand has spent his entire career talking himself up at the expense of others. He has a history of mocking other managers and presenting himself as the innate winner, preternaturally above everyone else. When he loses, it’s the officials, players, and doctors curtailing his genius, not any fault of his.
The guy that constantly claims to be better than everyone else, at the club that constantly claims to be the biggest in the world, is naturally under the biggest pressure.
…Why does Pep get an easier ride than Jose? He’s generally not a cantankerous arse who blames absolutely everybody but himself.
And this whole thing of saddling him with ‘the best manager in the world’ tag has gone beyond tiresome. He’s done a good job at every club he’s been at and yes he’s under pressure this year. Of course he is! But again, not an arse.
A Football365 hero
You know who has really “won” the transfer window? Getafe.
Why? Just signed the best player in the world, Dani Pacheco, on a permanent deal. I’m surprised it wasn’t more widely reported…
Lewis, Busby Way