Manchester City would have been relegated in a Premier League where only goals from English players counted, with a lowly 33 points.
Far from just a stick for more jingoistic football enthusiasts to beat the 2013/14 champions with, their lack of English players is an on-going concern due to top-flight rules on home-grown players.
City’s 25-man league-winning squad contained 15 foreign-educated players, just two short of the maximum 17 allowed.
The widely-expected departures of Englishmen Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards means the need for the club to recruit talent bred on these shores is greater than ever as they seek to land odds of 7/4 about retaining their title next season.
At news.bwin.com/en/ we’ve found just the potential acquisitions for the job.
Alex McCarthy, Reading
Can Costel Pantilimon really be good enough to keep an up-and-coming English-trained goalie out of the squad?
Royals stopper McCarthy impressed as they submitted to relegation in 2012/13 and he’s added another 12 league clean sheets to his collection this time around, saving a very respectable 2.83 shots for every goal he concedes.
Luke Shaw, Southampton
Left-back is one of the few areas in the City squad that looks short of top class and, with money no object, snapping up a player deemed good enough to contribute to the England exclusion of one of the world’s finest practitioners makes perfect sense.
Steven Caulker, Cardiff City
The 22-year-old may have been unable to keep Cardiff up in an ever-present campaign, but the great Franco Baresi would have struggled if similarly tasked.
Only three players completed more defensive actions in the Premier League this term than a Tottenham-tutored youngster who proved himself an adept ball-playing centre-half when on loan at Swansea in 2010/11.
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