Why the big boys still rule the roost in the Premier League

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 19 July 2016, 12:24

The Sun's Andy Dillon (@andydillon70discusses why N'Golo Kante's move to Chelsea is a reminder that the big boys still call the shots.

ANTONIO CONTE has just proved that the more things change the more they stay the same.

That goes particularly for English football where Chelsea have signed N'Golo Kante from Leicester for £32 million proving the rule that money is still king and not the battling spirit at the King Power Stadium.

Chelsea finished 10th in the Premier League last season and Leicester City top.

When Leicester lifted the title some of us foolishly hoped it might just mark even a slight change in direction.

That the big clubs wouldn't have it all their own way from now on. That they couldn't just bully and bulldoze their way around.

And when City striker Jamie Vardy turned down Arsenal to stay with the club that put him on the map some of us thought maybe English football had finally found some sanity, some sense.

But no - we were wrong.

Along comes Conte to a Chelsea team which hasn't produced and kept hold of a first team regular from its own youth team since John Terry emerged in the late 1990s.

Neither have they had the nouse to spot a bargain and take a punt, turning a rough diamond into a jewel of a player like Kante has become.

Nope it is all down to Roman Abramovich's chequebook yet again - just as it has always been since the Russian oligarch took over in 2003.

Conte has only been in the job since April - he only started work last Wednesday officially.

Yet in just a few weeks the Italian has managed to spend £65 million combined on Kante and £33 million on striker Michy Batshuayi.

Here we go again.

It's a blow for Leicester fans to be waving Kante off - and you can't blame him when the sort of wages that go with a £32 million fee are being dangled in front of his face.

It's an even bigger blow for English football which has taken a huge kicking this summer with the low point of the national team being reached with defeat against Iceland at Euro 2016.

Who'd be a young, English hopeful midfielder, striker or any other position for that matter?

With two big signings already confirmed at Chelsea you'd have just taken a massive kick down the pecking order despite working your n**s off.

Two summers ago Conte's predecessor Jose Mourinho declared his intention to bring through young players at Chelsea: Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Nathan Chalobah, Ola Aina, Jack Clarke-Salter."

"If I don't", cried The Special One, then I will have failed.

Well he did and now it looks like Conte is ready to fail the next crop of naive Chelsea players who thought they could be the one to break the mould and make it at Stamford Bridge.

West Ham also did their bit for the smaller clubs last season and introduced Dimitri Payet to the Premier League.

Payet is 29, he has been around a bit but nobody except Hammers boss Slaven Bilic was prepared to take a punt on him.

After two good games for France at Euro 2016, the sharks are circling and want to relieve West Ham of their most entertaining player since Paolo di Canio.

The player himself says the right thing about staying but we all know the truth don't we? And we all know that by insisting it would take £100 million to buy him, West Ham's owners are effectively letting it be known they are ready to do business.

Less than a month after England were brought to their knees by Iceland's minnows, it's all forgotten and it is business as normal.

Business is now what we used to call our national sport of course.

The new TV deal is the crux of the problem. With £5 BILLION sloshing around, why wait? Why waste time calling your scouts to see if there is a hidden gem hiding somewhere, anywhere in England, throughout Europe, anywhere?

Grab-it-quick and spend it fast. Here today and gone tomorrow.

Enjoy the season.


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