Jamie Ives looks at where Premier League clubs are going wrong with regard to transfer policies and why the number of quality players in the top flight may be decreasing…
Over the past five years the Premier League has become more and more competitive and predicting outcomes has become a betting man’s worst nightmare due to the unpredictability of the league.
The Premier League is still viewed as the best league in the world by many. And the main reason for the more competitive structure is the transfer policy of Premier League clubs nowadays.
World-class players at their peak are leaving England’s top division and are not being replaced by world-class players. The best examples of this in recent years are Liverpool and Tottenham, who, over the last two summer’s have lost Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale to Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.
Spurs replaced Bale with an array of players that have yet to make up for the loss of the Welsh wizard. Attacking players Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen were all brought in using the Bale money but have not made the same impact in the side on a consistent basis.
It’s a similar issue with Liverpool. They used the money they acquired through the Suarez deal to bring in Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic and Mario Balotelli – all of whom have failed to make up for the Uruguayan’s absence.
And thus with this policy, both teams have lost pace with other big clubs in the league, such as Chelsea. The Blues have adopted the opposite strategy this year and it looks to have paid off. Bringing in Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa has fired them to top spot and they don’t look like they’ll fall away anytime soon.
It seems modern football clubs value a large squad, which has its obvious advantages due to injury problems and long fixture lists. However, there is no substitute for a world-class player, no matter how many players you bring in.
The amount of world-class talent in the Premier League is decreasing and England’s UEFA Champions League teams failures are fundamentally the reason for this.
Germany’s Bayern Munich and Spain’s Real Madrid and Barcelona are the dominant forces in the game today, and the very best players are signed by these clubs at all costs. That has ensured they remain competitive in every competition they are in.
Premier League clubs should be keeping hold of their assets, and if they do decide to sell, replacing them with players of the same calibre is a must, and not three or four average replacements.