Is Raheem worth the Sterling? More to the point…. Is any English player worth the cash they fetch?
Sterling is 20 years old and has played less than 100 games in the Premier League. So far, he has achieved absolutely nothing…. Yet, his move to Manchester City cost a whopping £49m (A record fee for an English player) leading many fans to question whether he is worth it.
Lets put this into perspective and use a comparison…. Eden Hazard cost Chelsea £32m and he has gone on to become the best player in the Premier League. As of yet, Sterling is nowhere near as good as Hazard. So is Sterling worth £49m? The short answer is no.
We see this time and time again, English players being hyped-up leading to them costing what can only be described as a king’s ransom.
Another good comparison would be the transfers of Germany international Toni Kroos to Real Madrid and England midfielder Adam Lallana to Liverpool last summer.
Real Madrid are reported to have paid £24million for Kroos, whom had just won the World Cup and is performing at a world class level. The 24-year-old played a crucial part in Germany trouncing hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-final.
When compared to the £25million Liverpool paid for Adam Lallana it looks an absolute steal. I’m not saying for one second that Lallana doesn’t have talent…. But is he world class? Is he really worth more than World Cup winner Kroos?
Next up for scrutiny is Luke Shaw’s transfer to Manchester United last summer for a fee of £32million, compared to Chelsea’s capture of Brazilian left-back Felipe Luis for half the price.
Again, Shaw does look like a very good prospect for the future. However, his price tag just illustrates perfectly the nature of buying and selling English players. Is he worth twice as much as Luis who has just won the Premier League title, the La Liga title with Atletico Madrid and got to the Champions League final in 2014? Again, you would have to say that Chelsea got an absolute steal.
The list goes on; Andy Carol, Ricky Lambert…. You name it. And it doesn’t stop here. Chelsea are readying a second bid for Everton center-back John Stones with a fee of £32m touted… Absolutely ridiculous!
The fact that English players are costing double what their European colleagues do is leading to serious problems. One of those problems is big fees lead to big expectations and pressure, which few have coped with. This leads to younger players losing their way in the game.
The World Cup proved English players are nowhere near as good as their world rivals. The fact that they cost more to buy is just adding to the problem. Teams can be successful if they invest their money wisely in talented players as Chelsea proved last season. But their investment wasn’t in homegrown talent; it was in foreign talent, which proved to be better value.
Until the price in English talent falls, English top-flight teams will continue to purchase abroad and the English national team will continue to suffer.
Author: Luke Adam Blakemore