Every season we see footballers making the move from established Premier League clubs to one of the bigger clubs and regularly these players soon find that life is not always as good as they hope it will be at their new club.
They go from star players to squad players in the space of a few months. I believe that more players should realise that is better to play for a good side than sit on the bench at a great side despite the huge amounts of money the transfermay give them.
When Robbie Keane secured a £20 million transfer to his ‘boyhood club’ Liverpool in 2008, he probably hoped that is was a chance to win major trophies however it turned into a nightmare as he was played in the wrong position and only scored 5 times. The Irish international returned to White Hart Lane in January 2009 but since then his career has gone downhill with spells out on loan at Celtic and West Ham United. The 31-year-old must now regret leaving White Hart Lane after a season where he won the player of the year award as since then his career has been on a downward spiral which he doesn’t look like recovering from anytime soon.
Look at the probable transfer of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and it obvious to see he will face formidable obstacles at the Nou Camp in the form of Iniesta and Xavi for a starting berth. Will he really want to settle for a place on the bench after being the first name on the team sheet at the Emirates. He only needs to look at other big money moves to see that the grass is not always greener.
The perfect example of a player that has found that life is not always better after a move is £50 million man Fernando Torres as his mistimed switch to Stamford Bridge has none nothing for his career. Torres left Anfield in search of more silverware and the chance to win major trophies, something he did not achieve last year and thus far it appears that he would have been better off remaining at Anfield.
However Wayne Rooney has found that life can be greener on the other side as since his move to Man United from Everton, he has won a Champions League trophy and four Premier League titles while becoming one of the biggest names in world football. Rooney is the example of a player who was right to move on and leave the smaller club when he did, however this is quite unusual in the football world.
Another former Everton player Steven Pienaar has not has as much success at his new club. He has has only played 12 games in six months since his transfer to Spurs and has failed to really make an impression in North London. The South African captain has gone from being an important first team player at Everton to a squad player at Spurs, was the move for increased wages really worth it?
I do wonder if Keane Or Pienaar were given the chance to turn back time and not leave their former clubs when they did would they do this or have the financial benefits been enough to make them think it was worthwhile, even though their career has been hampered?
The desire to move to a bigger club is not just driven by the player’s greed for trophies and money but also by agents who know they get a cut of the transfer and they have little interest about their clients career development. However more often than not, careers can stagnate after a big money move and although the grass may look greener on the other side recent transfers have proven that is not always the case.