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.

News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003