Wolves have been linked with a lot foreign players over the summer, which is somewhat strange given our supposed transfer policy. Mick McCarthy has always stated he prefers buying British and the message from the club since promotion has always been that we wanted experienced, Premiership players.
However, supposing we do end up with 5 or 6 unfamiliar names come the start of the season, I wouldn’t say we’re doomed before a ball has even been kicked. In my opinion, buying abroad represents a gamble. You can unearth some real gems for very low amounts of money, but you can also end up spending a couple of million on a player who immediately looks out of their depth (take Silas for example).
Looking back to our last unsuccessful Premiership campaign, we invested heavily in foreign players and for the most part, you’d have to say it didn’t work out. The likes of Rae, Cameron, Ince and Miller turned out to be our most consistent performers, whilst the likes of Luzhny and Okoronkwo failed to impress. But like it or not, one foreign player did come close to saving our bacon that year – Henri Camara.
Even saying his name around Wolves fans is enough to incite vociferous anger and the manner in which he engineered his exit from the club is enough to understand why. However, towards the end of the 2003/04 season, the partnership between Carl Cort and Camara came close to firing us to safety. And many believe that if Camara had found his feet just a few months prior, we’d have done the impossible and maintained our top flight status.
So it’s worth remembering that, even though we’d all prefer proven British talent, buying in from abroad can pay off if you pick and choose carefully. I think Wolves scouting system has done a pretty good job over the last few seasons, so whoever comes in I’ll be reserving judgment until I’ve seen them play myself.