A record percentage of new signings in European leagues are from outside the country of the club signing them, according to a new study.
The CIES Football Observatory has undertaken a new study, the result of which have just been released, revealing that 44.8% of new signings in 2017 are expatriates.
This has led to a record percentage of expatriates making up squads in European countries, with 39.7% of players from countries foreign to the one they’re currently playing in.
In addition, the percentage of club-trained players (player who were in their current club’s ranks for at least three years between the ages of 15 and 21) is lower than ever, as they only make up 18.5% of squads.
This year, I’d like to think Arsenal are doing a good job integrating club-trained players, with many youth players getting a chance in the League Cup and Europa League. However, the number starting matches in the Premier League still isn’t particularly high.
Diverse teams are usually best for producing the highest quality football. Limiting your squad to one country will obviously not find you all the best players in the world. However, if young English players are unwilling to go abroad, then English football will suffer from those players not getting chances.
So, if I’m the FA, I’d be worried about these findings, and trying to find ways to get more players involved in England, or convincing them to look for chances abroad.
However, if I’m Arsenal, I’d just focus on getting the best players and let the FA worry about high percentages of expatriates.