Premier League clubs have often looked abroad when it comes to strengthening their squads, but should English clubs instead look closer to home for players?
Young English talent in the form of Blackpool’s Thomas Ince and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha have both been attracting Premier league interest in recent months, but when it comes to the top clubs in England, are they right in tracking the likes of these players instead of looking further afield?
It is a statement which starts a debate whether or not by buying foreign players clubs are stopping the progression of not only home grown talent plying their trade at the highest level in this country but, also having a detrimental effect on our national side.
If you have a look at leagues across Europe many of the top teams are filled with their own nationalities and in turn, countries like Spain and Germany reap the rewards in major tournaments.
Since huge amounts of money have been brought into the Premier League it has allowed teams such as Arsenal and Chelsea to dip into the foreign market and we have seen certain occasions when teams have fielded a side without a single Englishman.
On a personal note for players such as Ince and Zaha it would see their personal achievement raised and it would only improve them as players as well, but what does it mean for not only the clubs who make the acquisitions but for the Premier League as a whole?
The Premier League over the past decade has been regarded as the strongest league in the world but this has in recent years began to be questioned, due to a lack of success in European competitions, despite an English team currently holding the Champions League. This season in the Champions League we could see the quarter final without a single English side in it.
Why is this? Is this because with help of the economical situations in our country teams have not been able to compete with salaries like they used to and not match teams like Paris Saint Germain on the continent?
Liverpool are a key example of not performing to the levels that they once did and it could have a correlation with the fact they have not been heading into Europe for their shopping. Instead we have seen the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Raheem Sterling and Andre Wisdom making up the Reds’ team sheet.
If England are to follow suit and learn from countries such as Spain and Germany they should look to continue to bring through more home-based players which in turn will hopefully see our national side being able to compete to a higher standard and challenge for honours at World and European tournaments.
On the flip side if you are to have a look at the teams that our most successful in the Premier League over the years you would see that they are dominated by foreign players. While it is always good to see the best players in the world on our doorstep, is that more important than furthering the careers of our young English talent?
What does it say for the state of the Premier League when instead of teams like Manchester United and Liverpool signing players like Falcao, instead they opt for the likes of Ince and Zaha – does it mean the end of the ‘best’ league in the world?
I would like to see these players given more of a chance and to see homegrown players the chance to do what they dreamt of doing as youngsters. If like I have said nations such as Spain and Germany are proving to be successful the least we can do is give it a try. It is a topic that you have to be realistic about and realise that from football fan to football fan the opinion will differ.