Arsenal boss’s words ring true on foreign talent in the Premier League

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Longshots from thinks that there is no reason for a quota on foreign players.

Arsene Wenger recently gave a talk at the Emirates concerning the influx of foreign talent into the English game and as much as it pains me to say it, he was spot on. There’s always a lot of hysteria from some fans surrounding the rush of foreign talent into the most lucrative league in the world, especially since in recent years teams up and down the table have looked towards the foreign market to fill gaps in talent.

Benitez, for example, shops almost exclusively in Spain, Wenger looks everywhere but England, Chelsea picks the best from around the world, Manchester United has an affinity for Portuguese players and almost every other team in the Premiership fields international players.

Some fans have a misguided notion that by opening up the league, the quality of english talent is repressed when in reality, the outcome is the exact opposite. Without a quota, English players have to earn their way into the league based on their talent instead of being guaranteed a spot due to their nationality. This of course should give the academies and English youth players an incentive to excel, practice and improve in order to break players into the top leagues and eventually should give the national team a better quality pool of talent to choose from.

It’s an indictment of the FA and the academies when English talent seems barren, not of any policy regarding foreign players. After all, there are no such caps in the Spanish La Liga (that I know of, feel free to correct me) and yet Spain may have one of the most talented teams in the world (look at their bloody midfield!).

By shutting the league to outsiders through a quota or a limit, we would simply dilute the talent in England, encourage mediocrity and depress the quality of the national team. It may make the xenophobes among us feel better, but in the long run will destroy the English game.

As a fan, I can’t imagine any reason to complain about the inclusion of foreign players (Torres!!).