Teenage Kicks: Why Chinese millions are fine by me

Diego Costa
Diego Costa
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The lure of China for some of the Premier League’s best talents can only be a blessing.

For years the English top flight was a magnet for players and agents searching for big money.

It led to many questioning where professional footballers’ loyalties lie.

Our top tier is no longer a domestic league but an international one.

It is now completely normal for a starting 11 to include only two or three English players.

That is poor for what is supposed to be England’s top flight.

And I do not believe if young English players were good enough, they would be dislodging the foreign talent from the team.

I don’t think they get a fair chance.

And that isn’t just a start or two, I’m referring to becoming a mainstay in the team.

Many academy products at top-flight teams make a couple of appearances before getting shipped out on loan.

When they are given a run in a side, on many occasions they can show what they can do – like Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham on loan at Bristol City.

Abraham has lit up the Championship, scoring 15 goals so far.

But I am pretty certain Chelsea would not give him a run in the side if Diego Costa was to leave Stamford Bridge.

That is why I’m quite glad about the riches in China and hope it is not just a flash in the pan.

I hope those who want the money more than anything else show their true colours and leave for the Chinese league.

It is not about being bitter, no doubt Costa, Oscar and others have a rare footballing gift.

But if they are not in the game for the right reasons, then I would happily see them leave the Premier League.

And I would hope their exit would pave the way for English talent to get a chance.

You never know, it might even benefit us on an international level.

It is for similar reasons I’m delighted Pompey this week signed Jamal Lowe’s former Hampton & Richmond strike partner Nicke Kabamba.

There is talent in the non-league game and the marksman, who scored 25 goals in 36 appearances for the Beavers this term, will be eager to impress and progress now he has made the switch from part-time football.

It’s a hunger that, let’s be honest, is sometimes absent from fully-fledged professionals.

Football is about being creative and identifying talent, not signing a name or a reputation.

That is why it is about time raw English talent got a fair shot in the Premier League.

n Ben Sturt, 17, is a Pompey fan and Fratton end season-ticket holder. He writes a column from the perspective of a younger supporter in the Sports Mail every Sunday.