This week I wrote an article about Liverpool documenting how they’d probably purchased too many players from other Premier League clubs. Liverpool have signed seven players at a cost of £85 million from their rivals since Brendan Rodgers took over. The problem with this is two fold. Firstly there is in my opinion a lack of quality in the Premier League at present (this is partially why last years La Liga runners-up Real Madrid battered Premier League runners-up Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League). Secondly there is no value in the Premier League market.
The traditional school of thought is that it is English players that are grossly over-priced. Liverpool are a good example to prove this rule too having spent £35 million on Andy Carroll, £20 million on Jordan Henderson and about the same on Stewart Downing. This summer the hypothesis was backed up by Manchester United shelling out £30 million on Southampton left-back Luke Shaw. There is no doubt that English players are over-priced. Nobody can deny this.
But, it is more the fact that Premier League players are grossly over-priced. English clubs don’t like selling to their rivals. There is also a belief that if a player is good for one Premier League club he will be for another as he is ‘proven Premier League quality’ which undoubtedly pushes the price up and is also not a certain truth. Fernando Torres was off form and showing he was unfit when Chelsea had to pay £50 million for that ‘proven Premier League quality.’ That didn’t work out so well, did it. Southampton paid just £8 million for Dejan Lovren yet after one good season in the Premier League he was signed by Liverpool for £20 million, because he was now ‘proven’ at this level. Chelsea and Arsenal went to La Liga and picked up top class players all for under £35 million in Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez. It’d be unthinkable to sign equivalent players from Premier League clubs for anywhere near as cheap. Shockingly Manchester United paid £27.5 million for Marouane Fellaini, the same that Chelsea paid for Cesc Fabregas, who has won everything.
United also paid £37 million to pry Juan Mata from Chelsea (more than the cost of Sanchez) despite the fact he’d been rotting on the Chelsea bench for half a season. This is yet another clear example that it is not worth signing players from other Premier League clubs, English or otherwise. There is always better value abroad, as Southampton showed with Dejan Lovren. Clubs are better off signing players at a slight risk from abroad rather than buying into the misguided principle that success at one Premier League clubs means a player will be a success at another.