Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Man United Nations.
Since the season ended transfer rumours have flooded social media and newspapers with what seems like every player on the planet having been linked to Manchester United. Players from all over the globe have had their profiles and transfer fees raised by even the most tenuous of links to Old Trafford.
This is not a new experience for the Old Trafford club as they have always been linked with the best talent around, but in the past the record transfer fees were paid out for the best of British talent Robson, Keane, Ferdinand and Rooney to name but a few. Nowadays, the big money in the Premier League is being paid to the likes of Angel Di Maria, Costa, Sanchez, Aguero and Hazard. Foreigners who are paid fortunes to show their class and unquestionable talents.
Nikola Jovanovic was the first foreigner to be signed by United when Dave Sexton brought the Yugoslav to Old Trafford from Red Star Belgrade in 1980 for £300,000.
The early nineties saw Uefa enforcing the three foreigner rule on teams which meant all European clubs had to field a minimum of eight players from their own country in European competitions.
This new law inexplicably included players who even though were British and had been through United's youth system were also adjudged to be foreign. One player who suffered the most at the time was Welshman Mark Hughes.
After the abolishment of the law Alex Ferguson commented "It's come two years late for us," he said, "because we'd have had a chance of winning the European Cup in 1994 otherwise."
Just as important to the club during that period were, of course, the plethora of foreign talented players, including the aforementioned Schmeichel, Cantona and Kanchelskis along with Solskjær, Johnsen, Stam and Yorke.
The only major disappointment was the record signing Argentine Juan Veron, who endured a torrid time in Manchester, he had the quality, but seemed overawed by Old Trafford and the price tag of £28.1m that came with his move.
Van Gaal obviously values British players and even made Rooney captain when most people thought he would choose his compatriot Robin van Persie.
Of course the ability to attract the best players in the world has only been made possible with the amount of money that has been thrown at Premier League sides in the last couple of decades by the sharing of TV rights at home and in Europe, along with lucrative sponsorship deals and foreign owners ploughing millions into the clubs.
There are many pro's to all the foreigners plying their trade on our shores the most obvious being the level of talent that fans can watch week in week out is tremendous. The quality is clearly there for all to see and some players are worth the price of a ticket on their own.
The scouting net is forever expanding and in recent years it has included African and Arab nations along with South America and Asia. No corner of the globe is untouched in the search for the next big talent and United benefitted from this system with youngsters such as Januzaj, Pereira and Milinkovic.
As with everything, there are also con's and my main gripe is the lack of loyalty shown to the club. The kissing of badges after a wonder goal means nothing when your agent tells you that he can get you an extra couple of zero's on your salary.
Gone are the days of one player one club. We will never see the likes of a Ryan Giggs type situation again, especially from a non-British player. In the near future, there will be fewer testimonial games for players as ten months at the same club will be unheard of let alone ten years.
I suppose the biggest negative is the lack of youth players coming through from home as they have less chance to make it at the bigger clubs. This therefore has a knock-on effect with the National teams or maybe it's as simple as the young talent abroad is much better than ours. Add to that the fact that when there is a quality British player who becomes available his price is astronomical think of Bale, Sterling and Kane.
At the end of the day, every fan wants to see the best players sign for their side and the excitement that is generated when your club is linked to a certain player, especially a world class talent is exactly what makes the transfer windows interesting to say the least.
Many people become bored of the constant speculation, but it does provide very interesting, sometimes heated discussions on the internet which is in contrast to the past when literally any transfer news did come via a friend of a friend.
In the end, it looks like Ryan Giggs will have to brush up on his language skills as the situation doesn't look like changing anytime soon.
Thanks for reading.