.............Are British Players That Much More Expensive...
Sean, good post, and does show there is English tallent out there at a reasonable price if you look.
I'd really hoped we'd gone for Baines, but I don't think this was lacking on Rafa's part, the lad had his heart set on being a bluenose (God knows why?). Sidwell was also a steal, and I think many prem managers were asleep for that one. Wenger, Rafa and SAF I'm sure were kicking themselves when they heard Chelsea had snapped him up.
But at the end of the day I think things even out as its a fairly free market we are talking about. Foreign players have more risk associated with them as they are nto proven in the prem, so there is a slight discount. Its the same approach used to rate financial instruments like goverment bonds versus junk bonds. Government bond will give you a steady return, so its easy to price. A junk bond has ahuge upside and huge downside and is inherritly risky. Therefore pricing is harder, and discounts are common. But after one or two seasons in the Prem that risk factor is gone. Any idea what Berbatov would have gone for if MU had been able to convince Jol to sell? He's now a proven EPL striker so I'm sure he'd be priced in line with British strikers. At least as much as Bent, or likely more.
By next summer or maybe before we'll know if some of your comparisons worked out. Torres v Bent for example, will be all down to actual performance, goals scored and whether LFC are challenging for the title, or if Spurs make it into the top 4.