Are ‘foreigners’ in the Premier League hurting the development of local talent?

With another string of international matches, everyone has exactly one week until anything interesting happens in the world of football. Steve McClaren is struggling to put together a terrible side due to injuries, which leaves the rest of us to discuss the state of our clubs. Sadly during this designated time of meditation another topic of discussion is being raised by Sir Bobby Charlton and company.

Sir Bobby seems to believe that England’s youth have been cast aside in favor of foreigners. As much as we’d all like to think this, it is a far too simplistic evaluation of the both the English youth and it’s training system. While the Premiership has experienced an influx of foreign players, they are hardly being brought in to replace the English youth in mass.

Since I am not aware of all the domestic talent in the Premiership I will use the youth talent at Liverpool as an example. Both Stephen Warnock and Neil Mellor came up out of the youth squad with a bit of buzz surrounding them. Neil Mellor managed to score a miraculous goal against Arsenal, and Stephen Warnock replaced Kewell for a spell. However, while they both had the fitness levels and strength to compete in the Premiership, they did not have that creative spark that separated themselves from the most average of players.

While the youth training in England is second to none, they can’t seem to magically manifest that spark that creates the future stars that we all so desperately want. Sadly, the very people that could pick-out and develop players with that extra bit wouldn’t be anywhere near the Premiership if Sir Bobby had his way. Would Arsene Wenger be at Arsenal if you told he could have only 3 of his foreign gems? It’s the same with Rafa’s Spaniards, and Jose’s galaticos.

The simple fact of the matter is that just like in economics, bringing in foreign players would breed competition and help lower the rising prices of domestic players. Despite all this negative spin on the foreign, positive ideas have been put forth. Rafa has suggested that, like in Spain, the youth and reserve teams play in the lower leagues allowing them to play more games at a higher levels, even Sir Alex has vocalized a dissatisfaction with the amount of restriction attached to the youth team.

Bottom line, the misplaced fears of agings stars will hopefully be drowned out by forward thinking managers, profit driven owners, and fans who are enjoying how this little league is looking.

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