English players are overhyped, overpriced

There is a popular joke on social media following Declan Rice’s eye-popping £105 million move from Aston Villa to Arsenal a couple of days ago.

The Gunners also bought Kai Hervazt from Chelsea and have Thomas Partey and Rob Holding on their moves, leading some fans to remark: “Arsenal will be Holding a Rice Hervazt Partey to celebrate winning the league.”

After finishing runners-up to Manchester City last season – despite spending 93 per cent of the time in first place – Arsenal fans are confident the two midfielders will propel the London club to its first league title since the 2003-2004 season.

While there is no doubting Rice’s talent, his price tag has tongues wagging as most agree it is twice more than his worth, and the amount is only because he is English.

Of course, if he can help Arsenal win the title, many would say it is a bargain. But as it stands, the transfer is a big gamble.

Another player whose move raised eyebrows is Mason Mount, who left Chelsea for Manchester United for £60 million.

Mount is a Champions League winner but is in the last year of his contract. He could have left Chelsea without a fee next year.

He is a better player than Rice and will flourish under Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.

However, with Chelsea desperate to offload players – after spending £585.5 million last season – perhaps United could have got him for under £40 million.

Compare their fees with Alexis Mac Allister, the Argentine World Cup winner who joined Liverpool for only £35 million, and Italy’s Euro Championship winner Nicolo Barella, who is worth £65 million.

The South American and Italian have accomplished more in their career than either English players, but they are not overhyped or overpriced.

Anthony Gordon’s move from Everton to Newcastle in January for £40 million is another example of how inflated English players’ prices are.

Gordon is only 22 and has not even earned an England call-up. He has scored eight goals in 92 league games – including one in 1 for the Magpies.

Last season Arsenal paid nearly £53 million for Ben White. The centreback’s market price was £25 million.

The message is clear. Clubs must pay a premium to sign young English players.

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