Can the English Premier League afford to lose its stars?

Blog by: Shayne

Tottenham's Gareth Bale Takes Over Times Square on Premier League Billboard

Gareth Bale

After Gareth Bale took the Premier League by storm last season, scoring 23 goals and providing seven assists while also winning both the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year, the Welshman has been relentlessly pursued by Spanish giants Real Madrid.

However, Tottenham Hotspur have stood firm in their resolve to not sell the player for less than a staggering £100m. Bale himself has yet to say anything regarding the rumours, although media outlets in England claim that he wants the move. Among all the discussions regarding the justification of the price-tag slapped on him, many people seem to have lost sight of the fact that the Premier League might be losing one of its star players very soon.

Bale is without a doubt one of the best players in the Premier League right now. Despite the fact that he is overrated by fans and pundits alike (calling him the “Best Player in the World” after one good season is taking it a little too far), there is no doubting his talent.

The fact that he’s British makes him even more valuable to the Premier League, given the lack of quality home-grown talent present in the League. Most of the big clubs have foreign players as their stars.

It might seem a harsh statement, but it’s true. If I ask you to name one world-class English player currently plying his trade in the Premier League, you’d struggle.

Rooney? The fact that Robin van Persie could steal his thunder with so little effort says a lot about Rooney’s talent. Wilshere? He still has a long way to go before he can be dubbed world-class. Gerrard, Lampard, Terry, Ferdinand, Cole? They were world-class in their prime, but those days are gone now. Joe Hart? Arguably the most overrated goalkeeper in the world.

So you see… the Premier League is considered an exciting league mostly because of the number of talented foreign players that play their trade in the League. Players like Luis Suarez, Robin van Persie, Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla, Eden Hazard, Michu, Yaya Toure and David Silva are the ones to thank for the Premier League’s massive ratings and popularity.

The fact that there are very few English players of any quality in the League means teams rely heavily on foreign stars. And despite what Gary Neville and other English football experts think, the large number of foreign players is not to blame for the fact that English youngsters don’t get a chance in Premier League teams. But more of that another time.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Premier League clubs should do their best to ensure that their star players don’t leave the League no matter what the cost is. Whether that means giving them an occasional pay-raise or even slapping massive price-tags or weaving near-impossible release clauses into their contracts, it must be done.

The English Premier League isn’t as brilliant as many people think it is. The quality of football can fluctuate at times and the League doesn’t positively contribute to the national team (again, that’s not entirely the League’s fault).

Also, English teams aren’t always a force in European competitions. One of the main reasons the League is so popular is because of the collection of star players on display. And if that were to disappear, the League’s popularity would disappear along with the players.

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