With England prospect Jordan Henderson about to complete a £20m move to Liverpool, and Manchester United snapping up Blackburn’s Phil Jones for £17m, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a flurry of transfer activity involving other stars of England’s future.
It seems inevitable that Aston Villa’s Ashley Young will depart with Manchester United overtaking Liverpool in the race for his signature. His reported £18m fee is par for the course for a developing English player.
Inevitable too seems the departure of fellow Villa winger, Stewart Downing who himself seems all set for Liverpool in a £15m purchase. These players will feature heavily in the future of the England team and it seems they are all aware of it, deciding to cash in on the hype and secure a place in the limelight.
Other England players must be weighing their options too. For some time now, Gary Cahill’s departure from Bolton Wanderers has been on the cards and yet again another high-profile move – in all probability an £18m move to Arsenal – seems a matter of course.
And there are yet more England hopefuls whose heads will undoubtedly be turned by the lure of the big teams. Everton players Leighton Baines and Jack Rodwell are frequently linked with richer clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City. It is natural, in the light of the current market, that these players would entertain ideas of a departure from Goodison Park – costing in the region of £20m each.
And lastly there is Scott Parker’s imminent departure from West Ham. Having proven himself as a truly dependable, key player last season and been rewarded by a run in the England team, Parker knows now is the time to move to avoid a career of mediocrity. A fee of £10m will surely be enough to dislodge him.
If these transfers go through, and of course they might not, that would mean around £140m spent on England’s future stars. Add this to other team member’s costly transfer fees (Carroll £35m, Rooney £28m, Milner £26m, Bent £24m), this is over £250m spent on England’s future.
The first point to make is that this is ridiculous. England’s team are not worth that much money, the shocking performance against Switzerland would have shown anybody that. Their inflated price tags reflect the nepotism for homegrown players that exists in the English game.
To date, only Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole have moved in high-profile moves and achieved success. They are the examples to the others, but I will suggest little more than false idols.
The English game has facilitated a system in which a player is able to perform well for one, at a push two seasons, and then move for an incredible sum of money. Of course, the Fergusons and Dalglishes are buying potential but the fact remains, these players have are given a name and a status before they can create one for themselves.
The formative years of their career are then spent trying to justify these nonsensical sums, which only seems to be a positive factor for the truly great, the Rooneys, the Lampards and the Coles.
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