The Premier League once upon a time was the best league of all. The tradition and rich history are just a few of the things that have attracted the world’s best players to come and play here - not forgetting the money.
The Premier League’s top clubs previously used to use all of their fortune and power possible to get their star man to sign on the dotted line. Whether it was Chelsea and their Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, Manchester City with their new wealthy Abu Dhabi owners or Manchester United and their global fanbase.
Yet, this is no longer the case. Recently, many marquee signings have opted for a different club in a different league. If you look at the recent activity in the transfer market you can see that the Premier League is no longer a first-choice destination for players from Europe and across the globe and this paints a very worrying image.
You can’t deny the fact that the signs have always been there. Barcelona and Real Madrid have always being a possible destination for a lot of young players. In our generation, players grow up dreaming of playing at the Camp Nou or in that famous white shirt worn by the likes of Zinedine Zidane.
Last season, the Champions League semi-finals were a prime example of the new and renowned force of the German teams. Bayern Munich have always prevailed in Europe and in the summer they replaced Jupp Heynckes with ex-Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola. This managerial change has seen a new light for players who wish to play tiki-taka style football. Thiago Alcantara was rumoured to be joining Manchester United, only for him to snub the club and re-join his former boss at Bayern. This is just one marquee signing that has opted away from the Premier League.
The list is endless as Arsenal’s main transfer target - Gonzalo Higuain - gave Wenger the cold shoulder and joined Rafa Benitez at Italian side Napoli.
Alcantara and Higuain both obviously had specific reasons why they didn’t join the Premier League. The former's may have been to join Guardiola and Higuain’s deal was possibly down to the fact that Real Madrid could get more money from Napoli than Arsenal. But why did Napoli have all this money to spend?
Well the reason they have so much money to spend was simple - the departure of Edinson Cavani. Paris Saint-Germain signed the Uruguayan international for a fee believed to be in the region of £50 million.
Three or four years ago, a player like Cavani would have signed for one of the big rich clubs in the Premier League for that price. But why did he opt to join PSG? It wasn’t as if there was no interest from clubs in the Premier League. Both Chelsea and Manchester City reportedly showed their interest in the 26-year-old striker.
Cavani wasn’t the only one to choose Ligue 1 - Radamel Falcao decided to join newly-promoted Monaco instead of joining a team in the Premier League. Why is this the case? Is the Premier League really losing its interest?
Both Monaco and PSG have finally caught up with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United in the sense that they are finally able to spend big without worry. Not only that, they now have rich owners who are prepared to go to any length possible to sign players. As for the Italian clubs, they have now emerged from the days of financial mis-management and are slowly rebuilding.
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