What do Joe Hart, Chris Smalling and Blackburn`s DJ Campbell have in common? These players were picked up from the lower leagues by Premiership clubs.
Reading`s Brian McDermott now seems to be the new voice box for grabbing some bargains from lower down the tables and with Adam Le Fondre and his 10 goal-haul to show as his shining example; he may have a point.
“There are players out there,” said the Royals boss to SKY SPORTS NEWS. “I’m convinced that if you are brave enough to take them from the leagues below, they can play in this league”.
Reading`s latest acquisition with this method is Hope Akpan, who was picked up from Crawley Town in the January window and made his debut in the 2-1 win against Newcastle. Time will tell if he follows in Le Fondre`s shoes as another player plying their trade in the country`s top league from lower beginnings.
Another option might be the one Brendan Rodgers is taking, looking local rather than lower, after asking his scouting team to “think Scouse”.
“You name me the best two players in England in the last six or seven years? Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney, and they are Scousers.” Rodgers was quoted in The Daily Mail.
With both of these ways being looked at by these two Premiership managers respectively, it may spark clubs around the country to re-evaluate their academy schemes too, as this may be a financial avenue that lower league teams need to re-open and could potentially make them money from finding more undiscovered talent.
The new financial controls to come upon Premier League teams also may force more Premiership scouts to more grounds in this country for their next big names rather than abroad.
Whichever option the top teams choose, Rodgers or McDermott`s method, this may be the future of transfers in this country and can only help the English game to find new players for the future.