Maybe it’s the lack of excitement or prestige that comes with signing a player from the lower leagues, but surely Premier League clubs should be looking to a few potential bargains that could be had during the much brought up economic crisis.
A youth signing from the Championship and even League One is not unheard of for Premier League clubs, as there have been and continue to be a number of young players with bags of potential just waiting for the step up to take their place among the best. But why are club’s so deterred from signing established players who could have a genuine impact at their club? The immediate question that springs up is whether the player can handle the massive jump up into the Premier League. Jermaine Beckford recently proved that his ability in front of goal at Leeds could not smoothly be transferred to Everton, and despite a particularly sensational goal against Chelsea, he has found himself going back down the leagues for playing time.
Jordan Rhodes is another in latest of a number of players lighting up the lower leagues. His goal scoring form has no doubt caught the eye of many, and despite being a young player there seems to be a striker who could make an immediate impact at a Premier League club in need of goals. We’ve seen it before, ‘lesser’ clubs going away to Premier League giants in a cup-tie and scraping a win. Darren Ambrose’s wonder strike against Manchester United in the League Cup suggests there are players who can pull off the spectacular against the very best—even if it was a weakened United side.
And what of the Championship players who play huge parts in their side’s promotion to the Premier League? There have been many players coming up through promotion who have found their way into clubs who are a little more assured of Premier League survival. Kevin Doyle has developed into a great asset for Wolves and played a part in Reading’s journey into the top flight.
Looking abroad the story of Adil Rami is also one of significant gamble which paid off for Lille. Rami was playing for a club in the fourth tier of French football when he was offered a trial at the Ligue 1 side. An offer which he accepted and within a season become a regular in their back-line. Success stories such as this are, of course, few and far between, but it’s the lack of similar gambles which is the real question.
Naturally clubs will want to appease their fans with big-name signings from the top leagues abroad, but as the final day of the transfer window starts to gather momentum there is talk of a number of Premier League clubs looking to Watford for a potential bargain. Adrian Mariappa has attracted prospective buyers and he represents the kind of gamble in added strength that can bolster a club’s ambitions for the season.
It will be a welcome move by Premier League clubs to see them make use of the football league when in time of need. A small amount of money that may only bring in one player from a top league could be hugely stretched when purchasing from the lower leagues. Something that will be interesting to see as we move into a time of less recklessness in the transfer market.