Six British players you can get for a bargain price

Date published: Thursday 20th July 2017 10:00

Andrew Robertson (Hull City)
Still technically counts, although Robertson is reportedly going to do a few stretches and cough while having his testicles cupped ahead of a move to Liverpool within the next few days. The price of that move will be £8m, which is the figure that Liverpool can hope to receive for Kevin Stewart. When you look at it like that, it’s a steal.

“Luke Shaw went from Southampton to Manchester United after just one season in the top flight for £30m, and I rate Andy on a par with him as a young player with bags of ability and potential,” said Steve Bruce in 2015. “I’ve heard people talking about it taking £12m to buy him. That would just about buy his right leg – and the boy is left-footed!”

Robertson’s career has stalled slightly at Hull, but he’s still only 23. If Liverpool can take his form back to that 2015 level, Jurgen Klopp will have done very well indeed. Especially if they can get £15m for Alberto Moreno.

 

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
Wilshere’s loan at Bournemouth was not spectacular, but neither was it a complete disaster. There was never any guarantee that Arsenal would offer him a new contract this summer – despite what Arsene Wenger said – yet it is weird that there has been no saga over Wilshere’s future, compared to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Instead, Wilshere is being shuffled out of a side door at the Emirates. The latest reports suggest that Sampdoria are close to agreeing a fee of £6m to sign him on a permanent deal. Even with 12 months left on his contract, that seems like a tiny fee.

And yet there seems to be no apparent interest from Premier League clubs. Whatever Wilshere’s injury issues, surely it’s worth taking a gamble on a 25-year-old with 34 England caps for £6m?

 

Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
Smalling is not necessarily for sale, but there were widespread reports in June that Manchester United were prepared to offload their central defender, with West Brom and West Ham interested. A fee of £16m was mentioned.

It might make you wince that £16m could be described as a bargain fee for a back-up central defender, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Smalling has not become the natural heir to Rio Ferdinand that Manchester United might have liked, but he is 27 years old, has played more than 150 times in the Premier League, amassed 31 caps for England and played 50 European matches.

If Liverpool can set an asking price of £30m for Mamadou Sakho, getting Smalling for less than £20m would be a very clever deal indeed.

 

Kenny McLean (Aberdeen)
Scotland’s PFA Team of the Year was understandably dominated by Celtic players. Moussa Dembele, Scott Sinclair, Kieran Tierney, Stuart Armstrong, Scott Brown and Mikael Lustig were all included. Of the other five, Liam Lindsay has already joined Barnsley, Jonny Hayes has moved to Celtic and Joe Lewis and Shay Logan are both 29.

That leaves Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean, 25, who has still only managed one senior cap for Scotland thanks to a nasty case of Gordonstrachanitis, but was voted into the best team in the division by his fellow professionals.

Given that Lindsay cost Barnsley £350,000 and Jason Cummings and Barrie McKay have joined Nottingham Forest for fees of £1.5m combined, McLean would surely not cost much more. Worth a gamble for a Championship club?

 

Fabian Delph (Manchester City)
I really wanted Fabian Delph to be good enough to make the grade at City, but the truth is that he just doesn’t have enough ability. If Manuel Pellegrini didn’t quite find room for Delph in his central midfield, Pep Guardiola hasn’t even tried. Delph managed 219 league minutes last season after 751 in his first season. It just isn’t enough.

Yet not being good enough for Manchester City doesn’t mean you aren’t a good player. At the age of 27 and with nine England caps, which mid-table Premier League club wouldn’t want to sign Delph? If that wasn’t enough, City only paid £8m for him so would hardly expect a high fee. Negotiate down those £90,000-a-week wages and you have yourself a deal.

 

Tom Lawrence (Leicester City)
You might think season after season of loans are something that only befall players at elite clubs, but Tom Lawrence wants a word. Signed from Manchester United by Leicester in 2014, Lawrence has played only three Premier League games in as many years but been loaned out to Rotherham, Blackburn, Cardiff and Ipswich. He’s now back at Leicester.

If Lawrence isn’t going to break into Leicester’s team under Craig Shakespeare, he really does need to move on. Now 23, and coming off the back of a tremendous season at Ipswich Town (nine league goals, nine more assists), his stock is high. Surely a Premier League club might like to test Leicester’s resolve?

 

Daniel Storey

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