Every year, English clubs spend millions of pounds on new talent, predominantly from abroad.
We’ve seen this in the Premier League - and it is now starting to happen in the Championship, and even in League One and Two.
Although this foreign talent have the capacity to entertain and can make Premier League football easier on the eye, it is damaging our younger generation.
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This influx of foreign imports is preventing young English players from making the grade. It is rare to see a starting 11 with more than one player who has graduated from their youth academies.
Sides such as Manchester City and Chelsea rely on big money signings and sometimes ignore the obvious young talent they have at their disposal, which should be nurtured and developed to compete for first team football.
These sides, who have no real interest in helping a player develop, are often impatient, they expect results straight away and have been known to ‘wreck careers’.
A prime example is Scott Sinclair at Man City, he looked so promising for Swansea (after failing to make the grade at Chelsea having been poached from Bristol Rovers). A player who could be challenging for a place in the England squad had he not left.
However, three years at City and only 13 Premier League appearances later, Sinclair was sold to Aston Villa. He will never get those seasons back, thanks to a certain degree of selfishness from a big club. One hopes that Fabian Delph will not follow the same path, though it is hard to see him starting in Manuel Pellegrini’s side when he returns to fitness.
This year, we have seen Chelsea loan out no fewer than 33 players. Admittedly they’re not all young English players, but they are young players who will almost certainly not make the grade at Chelsea due to a lack of first team football where they are able to settle and live permanently.
One player Chelsea fans are calling for to be utilised more often is Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Despite his poor form, Cesc Fabregas is still getting the nod ahead the young midfielder.
Jose Mourinho is proving that young English players who play for big English clubs are going stale and not getting enough game-time.
Chelsea, who are not only damaging young English players’ prospects, are also doing the same to young foreign players as well.
Christian Atsu, who was bought from Porto two years ago, is yet to make a first-team appearance for the club after being loaned out to Vitesse, Everton and now Bournemouth and after the African Cup of Nations it’s clear to see the young Ghanaian is very talented but can hardly expect to progress whilst he is moving from club to club without being allowed to settle.
Although it’s easy to be critical towards big clubs who neglect youth, it is not always the case. Liverpool, under the reign of former boss Brendan Rodgers, were not afraid to give their youngsters a run-out.
Raheem Sterling came to prominence after being given an extended run in the senior side, Jordan Ibe is starting to show that he will be an important player for both club and country and Joe Gomez, who was brought in from Charlton in the summer started confidently before his horrific injury.
The selfishness from big clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester City is ultimately affecting the prospects of our national team.
As long as foreign players continue to start ahead of our future England internationals, there will be no opportunities for players to improve and develop into world-class players.
Managers such as Mourinho and Pellegrini should take inspiration from Mauricio Pochettino, who can take a large portion of the credit for the development of Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Dele Alli.
Let’s hope other Premier League managers will keep the faith in our talented young generation coming through and give them the chance to show the world what they can do.
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