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
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
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

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?