When a club finds out there’s interest in one of their top English players, they always seek to raise the value of the player a good 25% more than what they are worth. Paying too much for English players is something that has been occurring over the last few years and this is perhaps one of the reasons why managers are unwilling to invest in homegrown talent.
The massive £21million paid by Chelsea to Manchester City to secure the services of Shaun Wright-Phillips was the the first in a long line of unsuccessful, overpriced English signings. In the weeks that led up to the signature, Arsenal and Spurs were linked with the player for around £12-15 million yet City upped their asking price and held out for the eventual fee Chelsea paid.
This set a trend for a number of English player transfers in the years that followed. The most significant being that of Darren Bent who, after two excellent seasons with Charlton Athletic, was linked to a host of clubs for an estimated value of £12 million with West Ham United emerging as hot favourites to sign the striker. As a result of this interest, Charlton decided they would settle for no less than £17 million, a fee that eventually Tottenham agreed to.
The latest to be involved in similar situations are David Bentley and Gareth Barry, both talented players, who have been given inflated £17million price tags by their respective clubs after seeing the growing interest in their English stars.
Another growing problem we have seen with signing English players of late has been their failure to live up to what they were at their previous clubs or playing consistently well for more than just a couple of seasons. Sadly, there are a host of English players that fall in to this category: Dyer, Barton, Robinson, Andy Johnson, Parker, Alan Smith, Nugent and many more.
This is the path more and more English players are following and is the reason why managers are becoming reluctant to sign them.