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Made in England? Not when it comes to Premier League signings – SportsUntapped.com
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Added July 27th, 2010 by Ian

Made in England? Not when it comes to Premier League signings
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When it comes to the current state of the English Premier League, the managers have to take some responsibility for the lack of home-grown talent as a recent survey by the Sun newspaper in England shows they have a habit of signing foreigners instead of Englishmen.

The problem with this is many managers buy players “sight unseen” as they’re buying big-name players without properly scouting them. The other problem is that some managers couldn’t spot talent or lack of it, if it bit them in the ass.

It was bad enough when statistics showed that 79 per cent of players signed in the EPL over the summer were from foreign nations, but now we see who’s to blame.

The Sun’s survey shows that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has spent 14 years with the London club and has spent 250 million pounds on 83 players, and only seven have been English, representing just eight per cent. Wenger of course hasn’t won anything for several years now as his team continues to choke in the games that really matter. The Frenchman has bought 22 of his fellow countrymen in to play for him though.

Spanish manager Roberto Martinez of Wigan has also bought only eight per cent English, which represents only one of his 12 signings, and look at the state of that sorry club. West Ham’s new manager Avram Grant of Israel fares even worse as he’s never signed an English player for any of his clubs, which include Chelsea and Portsmouth.

However, it’s not just foreign managers signing foreign players. New Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has signed 39 players as a Premier League manager and just 23 per cent of them have been English.

The manager who has signed the most English players has actually been Martin O’Neill of Aston Villa with 60 per cent of his signings there and at Leicester.

However, some managers such as O’Neill and Harry Redknapp of Tottenham have come in for some criticism for overpaying for a lot of their English signings over the years and for over rating them. They point to the 25 million pound price tag placed on Villa’s James Milner as an example.

Wenger has reportedly told the Arsenal board in the past that the club would go broke if it signed a lot of English players at inflated prices. But there are many mediocre players being bought at mediocre clubs throughout the league and I’m certain managers don’t have to look elsewhere if they’re looking for mediocrity. There are surely enough English players who fit that bill.

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One Response to “Made in England? Not when it comes to Premier League signings”

  1. Ron says:

    I have heard this same argument over & over & over again. The simple fact of the matter is why would you go & pay 17 plus million for Owen Hargreaves or the like, when a 3rd of that price will get you someone comparable. The exorbitant prices expected for homegrown players is a joke. Like Everton wanting more than 10 million for Phil Jagielka, when you could just as easily go to Germany and pick up Mertesacker for exactly 10 million. Why put your club in debt and risk its pedigree on ‘mediocre’ players at far over the top prices, when you can achieve more with someone from abroad with half the cost.
    Plus I read recently that players like Alex Song @ Arsenal have traveled through & played in many different countries and leagues in an effort to better themselves as players. When you compare the ratio of English players willing to make that same move to foreign based players, its no wonder there was such a poor showing in South Africa. There was no flexibility with the England players, no ability to adapt in new & different environments…that is the main reason why things are the way they are. Arsenal have one of the best youth academies in the country if not Europe, and by bringing in the talent that they do, it makes the English born players raise their game in an attempt to compete….if you take this away then all I can say is this, mediocrity breeds mediocrity.

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