The transparent preference for Premier League managers and chairmen is to flood their squads with foreigners.
In some cases – Chelsea notable among them – they sign overseas players surplus to their requirements and farm them out on loan.
This is done sometimes to stop their rivals picking up the talent.
Partly, also, in case their assessment of players is faulty and the signings they first thought of turn out to be flops, while the ones borrowed by other clubs become stars.
The loan system – particularly between Premier League clubs and teams in comparable European divisions – is an iniquity which should cease forthwith.
Not only because it enables the rich to hedge their judgement but because it perverts the competition when the borrowed are not allowed to play for other clubs against the team which has sent them out on loan.
Just as importantly it stuns the development of players, not only foreign but more especially the young English footballer.
Even at the inflated valuations some of the little-knowns or unheard-ofs listed above, our leading clubs prefer them to domestic players.