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.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice