EPL: Should Liverpool Have Learned Their Lesson on British Signings?

Andy WardContributor IIDecember 23, 2012

CARDIFF, WALES - AUGUST 04:  Daniel Sturridge of Great Britain looks dejected after his penalty was saved in the penalty shoot out during the Men's Football Quarter Final match between  Great Britain and Korea, on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Millennium Stadium on August 4, 2012 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

According to reports, Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge was in Merseyside over the weekend to put the finishing touches on a move to Liverpool

Sky Sports confirmed that the 23-year-old was at Melwood training ground to undergo a medical, and the England International should complete the switch once the January transfer window opens.

But for some Reds fans, the transfer must have had an alarming air of déjà vu about it.

Moving northward with a reported £12 million price tag, it could be argued that once again Liverpool have been held to ransom over the purchase of British potential.

In many ways, the policy at Anfield could be applauded in that they are not afraid to give British players a chance to perform at one of England's biggest clubs.

However, commendable as that approach is, Liverpool aren't running a charity appeal. 

There is a lot of substance in the suggestion that there is far better value for money when signing talent from overseas, and the Reds have been slower than most to move with the times.

The Spanish market in particular provides a hotbed of wonderfully gifted players available at discounted prices, largely thanks to the emergence of the country's economic crisis.  

The much talked about Michu, was plucked away from La Liga at the basement price of just £2 million by Swansea City and has already repaid that small investment by bagging 13 league goals to lead the way in the hunt for this season's Golden Boot. 

When you consider that Andy Carroll cost a staggering £35 million to lure away from Newcastle United and hasn't got anywhere near that return, it's enough to make your head spin. 

On the flip side, signing players from other Premier League clubs decreases the risk of them not being able to adapt to the English style of play, but what people fail to understand is that playing for such a high-profile institution such as Liverpool is a different kettle of fish; regardless of nationality.

The intense spotlight is like nothing many players have ever experienced, and regrettably some just can't cope with it.

What's more, they aren't helped by the massive transfer fees that accompany their moves to Anfield.

The likes of Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing have ultimately failed to deliver in a red shirt, and it appears that they have simply been crippled by the weight of the pressure heaped on their backs courtesy of their inflated valuations.

Now, attention will turn to seeing if Sturridge can enjoy better success in new surroundings.

The fact that he has already played for clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester City should work in his favour because he shouldn't be fazed about what awaits him, and he has already shown glimpses in his career to date of the ability that he possesses. 

However, his return of just 13 league goals during his time at Stamford Bridge doesn't exactly justify the money about to be paid for him, but time will tell how effective he will prove to be for the Reds.

With proven European strikers such as Fernando Llorente at Athletic Bilbao potentially available at a cut-price fee due to an ongoing contract dispute, arguably the money spent on Sturridge could have been better spent elsewhere; but then again, where would be the fun in that?