Former England striker Jermain Defoe says that the approach to young players needs to change in football.
The prices for young players with a lot of potential are relatively low compared to established names. This has resulted in an extraordinary influx of money into the youth market, although it is not necessarily transferring into better opportunities for young players. Defoe says that many youngsters start playing at an early age thinking nothing about football and it becomes extremely traumatic for them to learn that they are not good enough only a few years later.
The former Tottenham and Portsmouth striker identifies the lack of chances as the main reason for many youngsters not making the cut, especially at the top clubs. One of the perfect examples of it is Nemanja Matic, who is now an integral part of the Chelsea team. Just a few years ago, the £ 1.5 million signing was not deemed good enough for the club and was allowed to leave as part of the deal that brought David Luiz from Benfica. Defoe says that the problems with young players are well documented and something needs to change in order to reduce the number of rejects.
Defoe is currently with Toronto FC and he came through the ranks at West Ham United.”The thing with kids nowadays is that they watch so much football, you can go over the park and see little kids and some of the things they can do with the ball. For young kids to have that sort of gift and drop out of the game is heartbreaking.Clubs go out and buy players from abroad and these kids drop out of the game. You look at them and think, you’re more than good enough to at least get a chance but it’s difficult. Something has to got to change,” said Defoe.