Bayern Munich has just announced the signings of Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund and Renato Sanches of Benfica. We all knew that Hummels was returning to the club of his youth but the Renato Sanches signing caught everyone off guard, with many people assuming that Sanches would make his way to Old Trafford to join Manchester United in the summer. The transfers showed that Bayern Munich did business early and did the right business but that wasn’t the only thing that these transfers showed. They showed that maybe Hummels and Sanches didn’t want to come to England and try and break the Premier League. Maybe, just maybe, the Premier League isn’t what we think it is.
Yes, the Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world and every club essentially has an embarrassment of riches to spend on talent and try and create the most competitive league in Europe and in the world. One of the negatives that come with the money is that it attracts certain players who do not have the loyalty and only focus on the weekly pay checks. Now, I’m not suggesting every player who signs for a Premier League club is chasing money but there is a direct correlation in the world’s best player either avoiding England or leaving after a few years i.e.Luis Suarez and Angel Di Maria.
The best players want to challenge themselves at the highest level and with the Champions League final being played between two Spanish clubs, it’s very clear which country seemingly has the advantage at the elite level. Barcelona and Real Madrid are always mentioned when a top player is being discussed, as well as PSG and to a lesser extent Manchester City and Manchester United.
None of the players in this years’ FIFA Team of the Year play in England and with players like Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez leaving England to win the Champions League with Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, it’s no wonder why they leave. Yes, the Premier League has money and yes, the Premier League clubs have garnered world-class managers like Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte but take the money and managers away from it, and why would anyone want to join the Premier League?
It’s been shown over the years that England has failed to perform consistently in the Champions League and fail to make themselves credible threats across the world. Apart from the glitz and glamour and the names, why would you leave someone like Real Madrid or Barcelona to join Manchester City and why would you leave Juventus to join Chelsea? You’d get a slightly higher pay cheque but you’d probably lose your chances at the Champions League? Is that what it’s come to?
The Premier League may be the largest in the world, and potentially the most competitive but the other leagues and other larger teams provide a lot more in the way of competition at the elite level. Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City & United may offer more money but it’s very unlikely that any of these four teams would be able to challenge Juventus, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona.