Premier League needs more English stars, says Brooking

Exclusive: Sir Trevor Brooking tells clubs to focus on nurturing English youngsters, not rely on foreign talent

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
premier league transfers
Over 60 per cent of all players in the Premier League are foreign Photo: The Sport Review

premier league transfers

Sir Trevor Brooking is hopeful English players will soon retake centre stage in the Premier League following the influx of foreign talent in recent years.

The FA’s director of football believes England’s top clubs are now more likely to focus on nurturing their own home-grown players as it becomes more difficult to lure foreign stars to the top flight due to unfavourable currency exchange rates and high tax charges.

“The strength of the Euro over the last three or four years has meant it’s tougher for clubs to bring in overseas talent,” Brooking told The Sport Review.

“The second big thing is that the players want to know what their tax net is, because 50p from £1 is not great. So it’s harder for the big clubs to get the better overseas players.”

Rather than looking to foreign shores, Brooking, 62, wants to see clubs turn their attentions towards developing their own home-grown stars by giving them regular run-outs in the Premier League.

“Over the next few years I’d like to feel some home-grown talent will get more of an opportunity,” he continued. “We’re at about 35 per cent at the moment whereas Spain and Italy are really at 70 or 75 per cent.

“We need to increase the number of English players playing in the Premier League every week.

“It should be done on quality but I’d like to feel that gradually clubs will start to do it.”

Meanwhile, Brooking believes there are still 10 clubs fighting for Premier League survival this season.

The former West Ham midfielder, who was caretaker manager when the Hammers were relegated in 2003 despite managing a record points total of 42, is expecting teams to need a similar tally to secure safety this term.

“At the moment there are probably 10 clubs who are still looking over their shoulder,” he said. “Any of the three that go down are probably going to feel unlucky because they might go down with 37 or 38 points this year.”

And Brooking says West Ham must pick up points in crucial clashes with the Premier League’s top clubs—starting with Liverpool on Sunday—if they are to avoid the drop.

“I was thinking Blackpool had hit a bit of a wall and were going to struggle. Then suddenly they go and beat Spurs 3-1 and they end up going up to 12th. Suddenly with two wins they’d be safe.

“West Ham have got Liverpool on Sunday at home and most people will say: ‘you’re not going to get anything there’, but you never know, and to be honest if they’re going to survive they’ve got to win one or two of the tough games.”

He added: “We’ve been leaking a lot of goals and that’s been our main concern. We’ve had a little boost with the last couple of results but the league games are the important ones.”

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