On the international front, splurging millions on a player has always been the norm, and now this seems to have rubbed off on our local clubs as well. Footballers are moved around from team to team, and you'd be surprised if you took the time to check out their market values on Transfermarkt. It does however, pose a question in my mind: are players putting money ahead of their careers?
It is sad to see good, talented individuals being snatched by so-called "big teams" and then left warming the bench, and in some cases their careers sink far, down into the drain. One of these clubs is Mamelodi Sundowns. They have deep pockets and can probably purchase any player they desire, and have over the years brought in numerous prospects who, unfortunately, were left sucking on their thumbs and scratching their heads, searching for answers, although this trend seems to have buckled at Chloorkop this past season.
Most young players wants to ultimately play for Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns or Kaizer Chiefs, and when an offer comes knocking at their doors, they seem to not think twice about their decisions, especially when money is brought into the mix. Don't get me wrong; it is good to challenge yourself as a footballer, but sometimes a little analysing could go a long way and save what could possibly result in a career-threatening move.
Look at previous players who moved from teams where they were playing week in and week out, and obviously caught the wondering eyes of the Big Three; they might be regretting the decision they made. Edward Manqele, for example, moved from Free State Stars, where he was highly rated and gave his opposition a run for their money, to Sundowns and, sadly, as he sits at Naturena, he is still suffering from the lack of game time he received at Chloorkop.
Are our young players taking any notice of what has gone on before them? The question remains to be answered…
Do you think players are putting money ahead of their careers? Also, can you name any players who suffered because they were given higher salaries at a big club, but then hardly played?