Football agent Barry McIntosh has revealed to the mirror that Birmingham City had considered signing James Rodriguez at an early age along with several other South American targets that the agent is used to bringing to the European stage.
McIntosh explained that then Birmingham co-chairman David Sullivan was open to the idea of South American players and had also considered Falcao along with the loan signings Birmingham actually made in Christian Benitez and West Ham new addition Mauro Zarate.
In order for a non-EU player to obtain a British work permit they must have played 75% of their national team games for the previous two years. This is a threshold that is simply too high says McIntosh. He believes that by having such a high requirement that these players are being nurtured in other countries such as Portugal and Spain, only for the players to then be signed for large transfer fees if they do come into England`s game.
McIntosh also says that this won`t be changing anytime soon, in his opinion Greg Dyke, FA Chairman, doesn`t want more young talent able to come to England due to the current state the English youth talent is in. McIntosh conveys to us the idea that England wants to close its talent borders in order to help English youth reach the very top level; he implies here that with foreign talent coming in the FA think English talent would be unable to compete so they do not want the competition there in the first place.
So, as around that time Birmingham were actually in a slight state of decline Rodriguez or any other signing may have come into the team and could have either provided some extra talent to help the team do well, or it is possible that, at such a young age, fail to make the necessary impression on the teams results.
It could be said that McIntosh is spreading these views to convey an achievement that he didn`t actually achieve, a notch on his belt that has been poked through but obviously never used. What a credit to have to his name, ‘look at all these players I could have transferred` will be his line to potential players and clubs alike. Certainly could be said to be an opportune moment to make such a reputable media story, now the transfer window is open.
The points he makes about the work permit situation also would move to suit him, in general it could be debated that stopping foreign talents getting permits to play and develop may hinder the quality of the game in England and who`s to say that these players stop English players from making it. They all have equal training at their particular clubs; maybe the problem could be at a younger age that what is being discussed here.
McIntosh raises interesting debate on young talent and their access to what is one of the biggest leagues in the world, but with regards to Birmingham City almost signing some talent that has now gone on to be world cup players, the point seems somewhat remote.
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