Debate: Are Inflated Fees For English Players Damaging The National Team?

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The prices in English football have long been inflating and this summer is the point where things have become ridiculous.

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Let’s face it, I don’t think there’s anyone in the world who can argue that Raheem Sterling is worth £49million. It get’s worse though, as West Brom have confirmed they have rejected an offer of £22m for Saido Berahino- more than Chelsea paid for Pedro Rodriguez.

That’s £22m for a player who has never been capped at full international level or played in Europe, supposedly worth more than a forward who has literally won everything he can get his hands on domestically in Spain and with his nation.

So, the question is why exactly are these prices so high? Whilst many state it’s because of the Premier League’s regulations for home-grown players within a squad, the issues are actually far deeper and a lot more concerning.

The reason English players are so damn expensive on the market is because there’s a severe lack of talented English players. The top clubs hoard them, the smaller clubs develop them- but overall, there just isn’t enough capable players.

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This is just a further example of the issues within the English game, as our national support is having a real issue with nationals within the game. The managerial position with England is a prime example; when Roy Hodgson leaves, who is there to replace him if we want another English manager?

Choices from the top-flight include an already screwed-it-up Steve McClaren, Tim Sherwood, Alan Pardew, Garry Monk and Eddie Howe. Do any of these have the capabilities to lead our national team? Nope.

Back on the football field front, the concerns are pretty evident. Look at the list of recent international debutants, how many do you expect to have a bright future with the national team and top clubs? Ryan Mason? Jamie Vardy? Steven Caulker?

What’s worse as these players would easily command around £10m on the transfer market. If they were French, for example, that would be halved. So why is it we pay so much for British players?

The short answer is, we’re short on capable players. Ten years ago we wouldn’t have had to look at the likes of QPR, Leicester City and Norwich. It’s not because the lesser clubs are improving, it’s because our pool of players is declining rapidly.

John Stones is the latest example, whilst he is a talented young defender, the latest reports suggest Everton may reject a £40million bid.

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Small nations pick from a small pool of players, it’s a fact. The likes of Belgium and Poland are beginning to have bigger-name players across European football- because of two major reasons.

Firstly, no-one in England is prepared to bite the bullet, admit a problem and fix things. And secondly, English players have a fear of going abroad. They just don’t do it, unless it’s a payday stateside in the United States.

The Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A and many others are blessed with talent from across the world. The Premier League is no different in that fact but for nations with players spread across the globe, it can help on the international stage. Each league is different, each with it’s own tactics and styles. England have the Premier League style- that’s it.

It’s not even like the Premier League style is working. English clubs are suffering in the Champions League and another poor showing from the top four clubs this year would put England in serious danger of losing one of their Champions League spots.

Time to face the facts. The expensive prices are evidence of problems across the English game and we need to fix this, asap.