Everton manager Roberto Martinez puts the blame squarely at the feet of football agents, for the lack of loyalty players show their clubs these days, amid the current turmoil that surrounds Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and his agent Aidy Ward, as Ward tries to play dirty in order to push through a big money move for Sterling.
Ward claims to be working in the best interests of his client, but has in effect turned the whole footballing world against the 20-year-old with his crude off the cuff remarks of how Sterling would never sign a new contract with Liverpool no matter how much he was offered, while also slamming a former Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher for his comments about what would be best for Sterling.
Martinez is set to face his own battles this summer with both Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley linked with possible moves away from Goodison Park, and Martinez says it is agents who are undermining the work clubs put in with their players.
“It is a real shame,” the Spaniard said, when asked about agents roles in the game. “I don’t think it’s something that has just happened now. I think it has developed other the last six, seven or eight years.
“It is so difficult to see young players get an opportunity in the first team and then perform well.
“That means a club somewhere needs to give a lot of trust to a young player. When you see a young player, and he’s done well, not giving the loyalty back to the club it’s difficult and it’s hard.
“It’s a value we shouldn’t lose in the British game. I do blame agents at times. They have very strong bargaining power.
“It’s also probably the fault of football clubs who are prepared to put in offers for young players that doesn’t represent value in the market. We are losing that loyalty from players more and more.”