Moving to a super club can cost quality young players
By NICK PAPADIS
College Contributor Network
With the transfer window deadline quickly approaching, many teams are making to put the finishing touches on deals to secure the players they need to help them finish out the season. Along with clubs trying to bring in players, many players are also looking for an exit from their current side.
Many of these players, who play for some of the top clubs in Europe, are unsatisfied with their playing time, or other aspects of playing for a huge club.
So often, a big club will sign young players, who are drawn to the club for its stature as one of the top clubs in their country or Europe, but for the careers of many players this can be detrimental.
Young players such as Mohamed Salah have fallen to the allure of large clubs. Salah signed for Chelsea last January and has already been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.
Since signing with the Blues, the Egyptian winger has made only 13 appearances, and with so many quality players in Chelsea's lineup, it seems that Salah may be on his way out from the club.
However, Salah's story is not an unusual one. Many other players have been snatched up at a young age by some of the world's top clubs and never get the chance they deserve on the field. As of late, this has led to players leaving large clubs to earn more playing time.
One player who recently swapped club stature for playing time was former Manchester City man, Jack Rodwell. Rodwell, who joined City in 2012 made 16 appearances in his two-year stay at the Etihad. In 2014, Rodwell took his trade to Sunderland, and has already almost equaled the number of appearances in half a season that he made in his two years in Manchester.
Rodwell claimed in an interview with Sky Sports "City weren't pushing me out of the door," but followed saying, "All I'd say is it's a big squad, a lot of competition for places and that's the nature of the beast. Unless you're a £100m signing, there are no guarantees."
He emphasized that young players can often spend a long period trying to break into the first team at top clubs. Often large clubs sign players with considerable potential, but these young players never get the opportunity to see the field.
Young players should instead seek to join teams that are competitive in the top-flight of their country, but also need to take playing time into account.
As a young player, it is crucial to rack up as much game experience as possible. Players should be aware of this and consider playing for smaller top-tier clubs at a young age. Players are more likely to develop if they play for a smaller club at young ages, then make a big move between 25 and 27 years old.
This will ensure they earn the playing time they deserve, and will put them in the best position to be competitive and play for the world's largest names. Playing for smaller clubs in their early twenties will also give players the opportunity to be discovered by larger clubs.
There are many players that are talented enough to be an automatic first-team selection for top teams, but without playing for smaller clubs first, they may not be an automatic pick by the manager of a large club.
Players such as James Rodriguez are the prime example of this. The Colombian midfielder did not go straight from his small team in Colombia to Real Madrid, but instead made a progression of smaller moves.
Starting his senior career in Colombia, he then moved to Portuguese giants Porto. Rodriguez then continued his progression with a move to AS Monaco before making his major move to Real Madrid. The 23-year-old could have moved straight to a large club, but likely would not have been an automatic starter if he had not displayed his skill at varying levels of competitive football.
Nick Papadis is a sophomore at American University majoring broadcast journalism and broadcasts AU Men's Soccer amongst other sports. Nick is an avid Liverpool fan. Follow him on twitter @NPSoccerTalk