Latin flair on increase as the top-flight clubs search for next Suarez

The latest trend is to look to South America for bargain buys

The imminent arrival of Sergio Aguero at Manchester City is part of the growing trend towards Premier League clubs recruiting players from South America.

Increasingly clubs are viewing imports from the traditional football strongholds of Argentina and Brazil as providing good value for money, although most of the sums spent are far less than the £38m that City are having to lay out to convince Atletico Madrid to part with Aguero.

Recruitment of players from South American countries annually accounts for nine per cent of all transfers in the Premier League. According to figures from football analysts Prozone, the figure has gradually increased over the past five years, up from 7.9 per cent in the summer of 2006. In the last window in January 2011, that figure was up to 12 per cent of all transfers into top flight clubs.

The rise in interest comes despite a marked rise in interest in British players, thanks to the home-grown quotas that apply to the English top flight and have added an extra premium to players from these shores.

In January, 46 per cent of all transfers involved British players, compared to 33 per cent in summer 2010 and 39 per cent in January 2010.

An important factor in the trend towards South American players has been a marked increase in players bought directly from clubs in their home countries, rather than via a club in continental Europe.

A recent report by Prozone states: "FA Premier League clubs are increasingly looking towards Latin America for new talent. This follows a trend in Spain and Italy where nearly 50 per cent of all "expatriate" players recently recruited were from South America. There has been an 8.9 per cent increase in the number of players recruited from South American divisions into the Premier League over the last four years."

It clearly pays to recruit directly from the source. Aguero will cost City £38m, but was valued at £20m when he joined Atletico from Independiente in Buenos Aires in 2006. A more extreme example is Kaka, who cost Milan £7.5m to recruit from Sao Paulo in 2003, and was sold for £56m to Real Madrid in 2009.

The Home Office immigration rules mean it is impossible for English football to become packed with South Americans like the leagues in Spain, Italy and Portugal. There is however a growing enclave of Latin expatriates who have dispelled the theory that players from South America cannot thrive in English football, following a succession of expensive flops such as Robinho, Juan Sebastian Veron and Hernan Crespo.

In all, there were 28 players from South America in the Premier League last season, including 12 Brazilians and eight Argentines.

Manchester United have three Brazilians in their first-team squad – Anderson and the Da Silva twins – and Ecuador's Antonio Valencia. The expectation is more will follow. United have first refusal on five young Brazilian teenagers, who flew to England last March and were guests at United's home game with Bolton.

Chelsea are also taking their Latin lessons, with Brazilians Alex, Ramires and David Luiz already on their books, and teenage sensation Lucas Piazon due to join in January. They also have taken out an option to buy three of the best youngsters at Fluminense as part of the deal that saw Deco move to Rio de Janeiro 12 months ago.

There are also three Brazilians at Liverpool – Lucas Leiva, Fabio Aurelio and Alexander Doni – and two Argentines – Maxi Rodriguez and Emiliano Insua – and the Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez.

And to think, they didn't use to look far beyond Scotland.

peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits