With Jamie Vardy’s emergence and that ridiculously good goal from Dele Alli yesterday, it seems the flavour of the month is to now scout the lower leagues for homegrown English talent. Why not when it can produce such quality as this:
That’s a goal which would usually come from a £50 million player. However this individual was playing at MK Dons when tottenham signed him for just £5 million. He is not on his own either, with there being a long running theme of lower league players doing well in the premier league. Ian Wright wasn’t signed by his first professional club until he was 21, at which point he went on to be one the Premier leagues greatest ever strikers and becoming an Arsenal legend in the process. Others more recently include Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie, arguably one of the most skilful in the BPL, who used to play at Hillingdon Borough. So why search abroad?
Some argue that players are signed from abroad to appease fans. After all when you have had a mediocre couple of seasons a goal scorer from La Liga sounds far more entertaining than a Paul Miller who’s been playing well in league two. Though perhaps the tide is turning, particularly as the results seem to point towards the success of english players. Clubs such as Newcastle have invested heavily in foreign stars to simply remain in a relegation scrap while their fans have been clamouring for a local lad. They wanted Charlie Austin who used to play for Thatcham Town, instead they got Mitrovic from Anderlecht. Austin has a goal scoring ratio of 1:2 for the past 8 years, Mitrovic has 4 in 19. Austin cost £4 million, Mitrovic cost £13 million.
(Money doesn’t guarantee success)
Also there are an abundance of players who did well with similar stories, Ricky Lambert, Grant Holt, Malcolm Christie. It shows that if you give someone a chance the odds are someone who has done well somewhere else will take it.
World Class players are rare and so are very good players, they cost a lot of money and every club can afford them now. The likes of Shaqiri at Stoke, Cabaye at Crystal Palace, and Ighalo at Watford you probably do need to buy. But these are the star players at their clubs, for the rest of the side there is no reason you cannot find a brilliant gem down the road at Sutton United, and for a lot less money.
So why not look there?