Chelsea have emerged as potential rivals to Liverpool for Arsenal’s Theo Walcott in a transfer saga that highlights the rising status of ‘the professional Englishman’.
The phenomenon, which sees average players become extremely sought after due to their ‘home-grown’ credentials, was first pondered on this site back in May 2014.
James Milner’s increasingly evident bargaining power in his contract negotiations at Manchester City was the catalyst for discussion at the time.
Less than a season on, the rich career opportunities available to Arsenal’s perennially-injured wannabe number nine Walcott show that the clout of above average home-nations trained players is only on the increase.
Based on their performances this season, news.bwin.com have nominated three more stars that every big Premier League club with a quota to satisfy should be looking at this summer.
Glen Johnson – Liverpool
As recently as March 17 the Daily Mail reported that the former Portsmouth, Chelsea and West Ham man looked ‘certain to leave Anfield when his contract expires this summer’.
Still just 30 and the first choice right back for England at the last World Cup, Johnson would be an experienced and talented way to tick the home-grown box for any club in need of full-back cover this summer.
Robert Green – QPR
Manchester City’s succession of ultra-peripheral United Kingdom-raised signings has shown them to be early acknowledgers of the professional Englishman’s necessity.
In no case has this been clearer than in the acquisition of 37-year-old third-choice goalkeeper Richard Wright, who arrived from Preston in 2012.
This season Green has reminded everyone just why he was once considered his country’s number one under constant bombardment at QPR and a similar role beckons.
Now 35, a comfortable seat on an auspicious bench, with the vague possibility of a European outing, might well appeal to the Chertsey-born gloveman.
Victor Moses – Chelsea (on loan at Stoke City)
Don’t let Moses’ 24 caps and seven goals for Nigeria fool you, he’s as home-grown as they come, having first caught the eye when scoring 50 goals for Crystal Palace’s Under-14 team.
It may well have played a part in Chelsea signing him from Wigan in the first place, given his marginal role at the club since arriving at Stamford Bridge.
He refused Jose Mourinho’s request to return from his Britannia Stadium loan early this January and could be looking to move on in the summer after reminding the world of his undeniable talents under Mark Hughes’ tutelage.