Premier League should introduce player quota to remain on top
A cap should be placed on the number of foreign players in the league
This may seem like a completely nonsensical statement, but I firmly believe that the standard of Premier League football would increase if there was a limit placed on the number of foreign players at each club.
Admittedly a number of the top players in the division are foreign: Mesut Ozil, Yaya Toure, Eden Hazard, Luis Suarez, Robin Van Persie....the list goes on and on.
But after you have sifted through the raft of top-quality imports in the league there is a lengthening list of extremely mediocre foreign players. Being a Chelsea fan, I am all too familiar with the swathes of foreign dross who simply block the path to the first team of talented, home-grown youngsters (Mateja Kezman anyone? Asier Del Horno? Tiago? And don't even get me started on the lamentable Juan Sebastien Veron...).
They offer very little to the Premier League in terms of quality and entertainment (with the exception of Nicklas Bendtner, whose first touch and finishing always coaxes a smile out of me), and just prevent club's academy prospects who lack experience from gaining experience.
Obviously, if more English players were playing in the Premier League, then by the law of averages our national side should be stronger, as we will have more players to choose from.
But we will also benefit domestically as well, I feel.
Hear me out. Say clubs in England are only allowed five foreigners in their squad. Extreme, I know, but this is only hypothetical. The top sides will want to ensure that those spots are filled by the very best players in Europe. There will be no space for average players, so they will strive to bring only the biggest name superstars to the club. Therefore, we should, in theory benefit from seeing more quality players in our league, and as such we should begin to rival the Bundesliga and La Liga in the Champions League.
This summer it has been well documented that many of the top players moving this summer (Neymar, Cavani, etc.) moved to leagues other than the Premier League, with English clubs settling for cheaper but arguably less talented alternatives (Mesut Ozil being the obvious exception, and perhaps a couple of others).
However, clubs would be likely to make a more concerted effort to bring the big names to their club if they knew they had a limited number of spaces in their squad, ensuring that it would be as strong as possible.
The standard of football may drop for a while, but over time the clubs would learn to pay more attention to their academies and, like many Bundesliga sides, would eventually re-emerge as top-level sides.
There are several issues with implementing this system, but I do firmly believe in everything I say and the new Premier League and FA commission must co-operate to ensure that both the England national side and Premier League regain their status as amongst the top in the world (OK, a bit too ambitious for the national side, but at least better than we are at present).
And even if it were to prove unsuccessful, at least Arsenal fans may finally see the back of Bendtner...
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