Young, English, Teenager… that will be 10 million pounds please.
A lot is made of the talent in the Championship particularly the young English players plying their trade in this division, and this has been the case for the past decade.
Flashbacks will provide both success stories, and players who inevitably stepped up too soon and came crashing back to earth with an almighty bang.
Giles Barnes is a prime example, I remember the comparisons to Paul Gascoigne which inflated his ego enough to prance around town wearing a ‘Yes, I am Giles Barnes’ t-shirt, and openly mocking opponents in games.
So in some ways it’s poetic justice that his career peaked and slipped all before his 22nd birthday, with a series of bad injuries and poor performances and can now be found playing in the MLS where in fairness he is building his reputation back to a respectable level.
So, I ask myself why after any young English player in the championship comes into form there is automatically a 10 million+ price tag on his head. The odd exceptional young talent, then I agree. But typically, I don’t view the championship as a division with a lot of players worth over a million pound, never mind any worth 10 million pounds.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few very talented young players in the Championship that I have previously spoken about but a talented young player is still that, a young player. Fans seem to drive the price of players at their club, and this has become an issue which has created a vicious circle.
One teams sells a highly regarded prospect, so when another one comes along the assumption is ‘well if he cost x amount of money, then he is worth at least y amount of money’ and this has created a seemingly never ending inflation in valuation that teams pay for ‘potential’.
The ridiculous thing is that some cases ‘the less proven, the better’ some players that are worth more before they’ve played a first team game than they are after, with Mason Bennett, and Jamaal Lascelles being prime examples of this case.
I will say this to chairman who value of their brightest prospects at ridiculous prices, they will move on eventually, regardless of whether it is for a transfer fee is involved or not, so my advice is strike when the iron is hot.
Wanting everything for nothing is how football fans view the game, and unfortunately some chairman too. History shows that, a lot of chairman/managers/clubs have shot themselves in the foot by being too greedy and its gone on to haunt them, when the player has either run down his contract, or not lived up to expectation.
A perfect example is January 2011 Nottingham Forest infamously rejected a 5 million pound bid for Jamaal Lascelles who was their prized youth centre back, who was touted to be much brighter than Michael Dawson at a similar age.
Fast-forward to today, and that player is now lucky to make the bench despite being of age where first team experience is key, He has recently been told he isn’t available for loan so he is currently lingering around in no man’s land, playing at a similar level to the one he has been playing since he was 15.
So, in hindsight who has been left happy? Forest? Lacelles? Arsenal? My guess is no-one really.
From Arsenal’s point of view Lascelles was a talented player, naturally gifted young player who was highly rated thought of in the England ranks at such a young age but coaching, or for whatever reason he has stunted his development at Forest which could have been bettered at Arsenal, in theory.
Forest have effectively rejected a 5 million pound bid for a player that doesn’t even make their side, and Lascelles who had all the tools to become a future international looks like he could be stuck playing under 21 football for the last 3 years of his contract.
It’s sad to see, because of greed, or whatever the reason, it means that all three parties involved in the transfer wish it could have perhaps gone another way.
image: © stadiumguide