Jol: I want to sign English players...but they cost too much
Published 22:21 03/03/12 By Wally Downes Jr
Martin Jol is being forced abroad in search of talent to fill his Fulham side as the price of young English players continues to soar.
The Dutchman was at Wembley to watch a young England side kick off the post-Fabio Capello era and was impressed by what he saw. But he knows the talents on offer are well out of his price range.
Fulham manager Jol said: “I would love to sign all the English players because they are English and they know the English league and they are used to it.
“As you know, if you wanted Phil Jones at the back, who is one of the best talents in Europe, you will have to pay a lot of money and we cannot do that.
“In Europe you can find them for a lot less and that is the problem for a lot of clubs except for clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal, they can do it and they do.”
Chis Smalling was whisked away from Craven Cottage by big-spending United before Jol took over in the summer and he knows his side will always struggle to compete with the country’s richest clubs.
Jol added: “Smalling is a good player, but United paid a lot of money for him.
“He was here for a few months, but he was not even a regular. They bought him for a lot of money and we realise that we will never be able to do that.
“In England the big clubs can and there are a lot of good players, but even in Holland, as soon they play in the first team they are worth seven or eight million.
“I would like to find them earlier in the youth teams or reserves so it’s a different philosophy.”
Jol’s more continental style side face the visit of a predominantly British Wolves team today. Terry Connor’s side will be employing the more direct tactics but former Spurs boss Jol recognises successful teams come in all shapes and styles.
Jol said: “Wolves are more 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 in their style and they are good in that style, like Stoke.
“Swansea, however, are the total opposite.
“But it is all about balance.
“Swansea are playing some of the best football in Europe . . but they are below us in the table.”
2 Jol was one of the few Dutchmen at Wembley with split loyalties and confidence in England’s Euro2012 chances.
He was impressed by the young talent, but concerned by who he did not see on show in the Three Lions’ friendly.
He said: “I have always liked the quality of the English players and I do want them to do well because I have worked here for eight years. But I’ve got mixed feelings.
“I don’t think England are far away.
“English players are as good as anybody, but with Holland we always have a Johan Cruyff or an Arjen Robben to make a difference.
“If everyone wants to play for England, they’ll do well.
“I don’t know if you saw our squad, but everyone was there, everyone. If everyone is there England could be one of the best teams.”