Date: 11th July 2011 at 10:59pm
Written by:

Okay so i have read allot of sarcastic comments over the last few days about taking players from lower divisions. To save money, or one of the many other stupid spats that allot of the less patient fans are aiming at the owners. Comments such as saving money by buying French 2nd division players come to mind in the last 6 hours.

But if somebody could tell me why this is a bad idea. It would be very much appreciated.

I would much rather the club put together a top notch scouting network and found players of quality in lower divisions now when they are at their cheapest then attempting to sign those brilliant players now many years later.

Losing Phil Jones was sour. I feel it, i dare say the vast majority if not all the fans feel it too. But like it or not. It has given the club money to spend. My main issue with that money right now is that it be spent on new young talent and not splashed on some (late) 20 something who was good in the Danish league, who very well might become another Kalinic or Grabbi. (yes it still smarts)

Many people joke about Arsenal for not spending ‘proper’ money and constantly going out and buying young talent. The kind of talent that has for the large part put them in the top half of the table.

Yes they have purchased some big name players like Van Persie and Asharvin. But the vast majority of their team comes as a result of a good scouting network and decent (not huge) amounts of money being spent in the right places. This isn’t luck by the way. It is logical spending.

Let’s take a look at their team:

– Abou Diaby – £2 million. Deemed surplus to requirements at PSG and Arsenal pounced.

– Bacary Sagna – 4 years ago signed from Auxerre for a fee of £5m-£6m.

– Cesc Fabregas – Somewhere in the region of £1.5 million from Barcelona oweing to not being professionally contracted

– Thomas Vermaelen – 2 years ago costing somewhere in the region of £6m from Ajax. How much are we willing to spend if we lose Samba… Hell we cost spend that replacing Jones

– Robin van Persie – Signed at a young age in 2004. £2.5 million from Feyenoord

– Theo Walcott – £5 million raising to £9 million for a outstanding English talent. Again, if we invested in the right players after selling the likes of Jones, this would be doable.

– Denílson. £3.4m from São Paulo.

– Aaron Ramsey – £4.8m from Cardiff.

– Alex Song – £1m from Basia.

– Jack Wilshere – Free a product of having a good youth scouting network.

– Johan Djourou – Signed at a young age for a minimal fee from a Swiss team Étoile Carouge

– Kieran Gibbs – Pinched from the Wimbledon youth at a young age before they went bust. Youth scouts at work again.

– Marouane Chamakh – Free transfer from Bordeaux. You compile a list of good players who’s contracts are due to expire and then you pounce. When was the last time we did this on a low budget. Lars Jacobsen/Benjani. Incredible…

– Armand Traoré – Monaco youth for a minimal fee

– Nicklas Bendtner – Signed for a minimal fee from Kjøbenhavns Boldklub in very similar circumstances. Reminds me a bit of Martin Olsson’s signing. Both quality players. Both worth bundles. Tell me again. Why don’t we try this tactic more?

– Wojciech Szczesny – Again signed for a minimal fee via Legia Warszawa’s youth academy.

When you include the likes of Asharvin and the players i didn’t include. That is a Champions League team that beat us consistently on a yearly basis for not allot more then we got for Bentley, RSC and Phil Jones put together over what 6 years?!

Look at Tottenham’s second string. Just about all of the players i would have by the way in a heartbeat:

– Alan Hutton – Was class when signed for Rangers. £5 million

– Tom Huddlestone – £2.5 million from Derby County

– Aaron Lennon – £1m from Leeds!

– Kyle Naughton – £4.5m from Sheffield United!

– Giovani dos Santos – Around £4m from Barcelona.

– Niko Kranjcar – £2.5m from Pompey!

– Vedran Corluka – £5.5m from Man City.

– Danny Rose – Leeds United for £1m!

– Kyle Walker – Sheffield United for £4.5m

– Benoît Assou-Ekotto – £3.5m from Lens.

– Steven Pienaar – £3m Everton. Everton signed him for £2m from Dortmund.

The vast majority of players above would walk into our team right now. Hell they would walk right into our team most probably (the vast majority) when they were originally signed.

Look at our own team for goodness sakes.

– Martin Olsson – Högaborgs BK minimal fee

– Christopher Samba – Hertha Berlin

– Ryan Nelsen – D.C. United on a free.

– Steven N’Zonzi – Signed for £500,000 from Amiens SC

– David Hoilett – Plucked from Canada at the young age as a result of a good scouting network under Mark Hughes.

– Phil Jones – Got us up to £20m. As I said above.

So before people scoff at the logic of signing younger/experienced, cheaper players who they may not have heard of from supposedly smaller less recognisable teams. Think about what could be.

Certaily worked for Arsenal. Could work for us too!

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7 Replies to “Taking players from lower divisions”

  • Interesting post. More transfer fees to think about: Fredrik Ljungberg to Arsenal £4m, Zlatan Ibramovic to Ajax £8m, Vdv to Spurs £8m, Elano to ManCity for cheap. If u need a good striker for less money, look to Teteh Bangura in AIK Stockholm who scored all goals in their 4-0 win tonight. Gl.

  • I said this in an earlier post – when we had no money we got people to sign for us who wanted to play – Bentley, McCarthy etc – Hughes signed Nelsen and Samba for minimal fees. We looked for bargains because we had no money! Now we have money (?) we have become lazy and gone for the names! I think Zola said it best when he was at West Ham, when he was talking about Man Citeh – If you can go out and spend huge sums on a player then what does that say about your ability as a coach to bring a player on, train them, develop them – if in the next transfer window you just buy a £X amount player. (I’m paraphrasing!) The other problem is when you buy all the expensive players by and large you get the egos and primadonnas as well.

  • Spot on lads. Nothing wrong with players from lower divisions especially this day in age with transfer fees rising. Look at Charlie Adam this time last year? Now he plays for L’pool? I support a mid range club in Aston Villa and wouldnt mind snapping up some quality, reasonable priced players from lower leagues. I imagine they are much more hungry to succeed and learn than spunking 20 million on an average player. No referece to Downing there.

  • Definitely making some good points here – when you look around for the bargains they are ALWAYS the better buys. Some of the clubs mentioned are a tad dubious as the “lower leagues” but the point remains…

  • I agree with what your saying, but I wouldnt use arse as an example. when they did spend more on experienced players, henry, pires etc they won the league, with youngsters they are still doing good, but havent won anything.

  • I’m not talking about Arsenal 10 years ago. I am talking about Arsenal over the last 5-6 years.

    They have maintained Champions League football on what is, lets face it, a modest outlay on players via a superb scouting network.

    They might not have won anything in a while. But the financial benefits of staying toward the top of the league as apposed to the bottom are obvious for all to see.

    If we were toward the top of the league, we would be able to attract better players, we would be able to get our Riverside stand sorted longterm, our staff would improve, we might encourage further investment… The skys the limit.

  • More than anyone I’d look at Blackpool last season. Okay, they went down, but they were competitive and their entire side was made up of has-beens, won’t-be’s and never-have-beens signed for pennies from the lower leagues. To get a whole team on that basis was incredible. Good players are good players, wherever they come from.

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