Player Valuation: £70m
I would be interested to know what percentage of our youngsters actually ever get over the line and get elevated to the first team. I suspect those who do get as far as the U-23's don't get any further as their development gets arrested. These kids need exposure to the higher grades of football but it seldom happens - with the occasional exception - and they must become disillusioned when they see the kind of first team players we have who are picked week in, week out despite their woeful performances.
The current likes of Simms, Branthwaite...and one or two other bench warmers are not going to stick around indefinitely. We've already lost the young left back who refused to re-sign on a perma contract (whether he makes summat of himself remains to be seen and his character may be considered a tad mercenary but I put that down to his agent as much as anything) which begs to suggest that our investment in youth is money wasted if we don't blood them at the highest level and deprive them their development...even a couple of games at first team level just as part of their progression.
But no, we would sooner go out and spend, spend, spend on very average roundsmen who probably cannot believe that someone is willing to pay the contracts they get and we end up getting what we deserve, mercenary has-beens with little or no genuine heart for the fight.
If BMD is ever completed we may as well call it the Pleasure Dome Home for Gentile former Footballers such are the type of players we seem constantly to attract. There doesn't appear to be any form of due diligence undertaken when we research potential signings.
I think thats why some posters like @ToffeeTim are advocating for Lampard who has shown a desire to bring through young players.
The one im most excited about would be Branthwaite. He looked highly promising for us under Ancelotti alongside Keane and it only seemed a matter of time to me before he pushed to start.
Benitez gave him 57mins against Huddersfield only. Thats despite Keanes shocking start to the season and general performances.