This summer so far, Premier League clubs have signed even fewer English footballers than usual from the Championship. Incredibly, there have been only five signings from the Championship in this window despite the fact that the 24 teams of the Championship have English talent that are capable of making the step up to the top flight.
With many senior England players nearing the end of their international careers and Premier League clubs signing foreign stars from around the globe, the opportunities for English footballers to move up to the Premier League are continuing to decline each year. Out of last season’s top ten goalscorers in the Championship, six of them were English.
Dwight Gayle joined newly promoted Crystal Palace from Peterborough, whilst fellow newly promoted side Cardiff City snapped up John Brayford from Derby County for £1.5million. Forty-year-old Kevin Phillips was another player to be transferred from the Championship to the Premier League after signing a one-year deal with Palace after being loaned to them from Blackpool. Nathan Redmond made the move from Championship side Birmingham to Norwich City for a reported £2million plus up to £1.2million in add-ons, which may seem a lot of money for a 19-year-old without a single match in the Premier League. Likewise, Curtis Davies, who was signed by newly promoted Hull City for a fee believed to be in the region of £2.3million.
Premier League clubs now see young players like Redmond as a gamble as they are required to pay a greater fee in order to sign homegrown talent, despite the possibility of the player being a flop in the Premier League. With even more television funds for top-flight teams in recent years, Championship clubs are aware of the vast amounts of money that the Premier League clubs have available for transfers and negotiate for the highest possible transfer sum, resulting in extravagantly-priced English players.
The majority of clubs signing English players from the Championship are newly-promoted clubs joining the Premier League. Norwich and Swansea City are too excellent examples of teams that have a core of Championship and lower league footballers who have helped the club get into the top flight, while many of the same footballers have risen to Premier League levels.
Other English footballers in the Championship who should see opportunities in the Premier League in the near future include Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes, QPR’s Charlie Austin and Watford’s Troy Deeney. Austin scored an impressive 24 goals for Burnley in the second-tier last season and still failed to attract a team in the Premier League to bid for the 24-year-old Englishman. Troy Deeney was another English player who scored 20 goals in the Championship last campaign, but narrowly missed out on promotion, leaving him behind in the second-tier. Deeney has begun this season in the Championship once again as a lack of bids from Premier League clubs has seen a drought in English players making enough progress through the leagues.