This Premier League season has been unique in many ways. The British transfer record was broken twice in one day and English football now has a £50m rated player. Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll were marquee signings, designed to show the power of a club and to appease fans who were suffering a long and difficult season. Nobody here is questioning the abilities of either Fernando Torres or Andy Carroll, just the price involved. However, some clubs have shown these transfers up; searching the globe and finding little gems for a relatively small amount of money. The two best signings this season in my opinion are Javier Hernandez and Cheik Tiote – reportedly a combined value of just over £10m.
The signing of Javier Hernandez has been an inspired decision from Sir Alex Ferguson. Hernandez has taken to the Premier League brilliantly, he has a fantastic energy and a love for playing football. You can see in his face how much football means to him, maybe his price tag is a reflection of that. Javier Hernandez was not burdened with a massive price tag, something Fernando Torres has had to deal with. When football players are allowed to play with a freedom you get the best results.
Cheik Tiote is another player who has offered his club so much this season. He has brought a physical element to Newcastle’s game and is a stable player in the middle of the park. Newcastle had been crying out for a player like Tiote for years. Tiote has a commitment and drive that puts some players to shame.
Sure, he has collected 13 yellow cards this season but that is the way he plays. If you took that drive out of his game he would be a very different player. Why should Newcastle spend all the Andy Carroll transfer fee on one marquee signing. Setting up scouting networks and having patience is what will in the end win over massive signings.
Football clubs should be looking at increasing their networks not decreasing them at this time. Most clubs are finding times tough at the moment but keeping networks in place or having shared information with another club is something they need to invest in. This summer will see massive signings from the top clubs. However, if clubs have done their homework and have been patient there is nothing to say there isn’t another Hernandez or Tiote out there. The importance of a scouting network should not be underestimated.
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