Di Matteo looks overseas
Roberto Di Matteo feels the over-pricing of British players is forcing him buy from abroad.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 26/11/09 3:17pm
Roberto Di Matteo feels the over-pricing of British players is forcing him to delve into the foreign market.
The West Brom manager admits he would prefer to bring in British-born players rather than having to sign players from abroad who need time to settle and grow accustomed to life in England.
But when money is tight, with the Italian reportedly needing to sell before he can sign in January, Di Matteo accepts that foreign talent is considerably cheaper.
Di Matteo's points can perhaps be highlighted with the Baggies' signing of Simon Cox from Swindon in the summer where, despite scoring an impressive 32 goals last term, his price-tag of £1.5million seemed excessive for a player coming from League One.
"You look for what you regard as good players but the world goes around with the money," he told the Birmingham Mail.
"The financial aspect is very important. English or British players seem to have a premium and be more expensive.
"It's not so easy to find the right player, for the right position, at the right age. They usually come at a price."
One foreign import who has seemingly settled without any problems is summer signing Gonzalo Jara from Chilean side Colo Colo, and his form has not gone unnoticed by Di Matteo.
"He's got a lot of games under his belt," he added.
"He's played at international level and that gives you something extra. We signed him because he's going to be a good player for us but what's surprised me was that when you come from abroad it can take you time to settle into a new country, a new team and new culture.
"He has settled in very smoothly. You usually expect a time period to settle in. He didn't need it."
Despite recent speculation to the contrary, Di Matteo insists that he won't be selling midfielder Graham Dorrans in January despite supposed interest from Birmingham.
"It's speculation to fill a newspaper," he declared. "Graham is a key member of the side. Some play more than others and Graham has played a lot of games for us.
"He's still young and has a lot to learn."