Of Cardiff City’s 14 signings to date, only one has been brought in from abroad.
The Bluebirds planned to exploit their European scouting network this summer, as revealed by WalesOnline earlier this year, and wanted to look at players in Germany, France and Holland specifically.
However, they have only tapped into the German market so far, bringing in Jamilu Collins, the Nigeria international from Paderborn SC who play in Bundesliga II. As we have seen from just one outing, it looks like the left-back will be quite the hit with the fans. You can read more about that here.
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That transfer has seemingly worked out smoothly so far, so why, then, don’t they tap into the foreign market to bring in more quality from abroad? Well, it’s not quite as simple as that.
Due to Brexit, registration rules have changed. The FA, the Premier League and EFL implemented a new system in which players had to meet certain criteria to be eligible for a transfer from abroad.
Clubs are now not allowed to sign players freely from EU countries and must adhere to the Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) ruling which stipulates players must have the requisite 15 points to complete a transfer. To gain said points, players have to accrue a certain number of appearances, both senior and youth international appearances, the quality of the selling club and club appearances, based on domestic league and continental competition minutes.
Fortunately for Cardiff, Collins scraped through by a single point, owing to his exploits with Nigeria, but Steve Morison explained further just how difficult he found shopping in the European market this summer.
“The biggest problem with abroad is that they need a certain amount of points, they need 15 minimum,” he explained. “He had his points because he’d played for Nigeria. He got his by a few other things and it all added up and I think he got in by one point.
“Some players you start looking and think, ‘Oh, he’s good’, as a recruitment team. You look into it and you send all of the stuff over and then you find out he has only got 12 points so you can’t do it.
“So it’s Brexit that’s caused it to be more difficult. Unless you’re signing from the top divisions, from the Bundesliga or Ligue 1 or Serie A, then it’s a lot more difficult to get them over.
“He is the only one who kind of jumped off the page to us that we knew we could get. Even that took a while, that was going on for about four weeks. But I was really pleased with it and from the first day of pre-season we have been excited to see what he can do on the grass.”
For Collins, who turns 28 today, he was elated the transfer got over the line.
“My agent was the one who Cardiff contacted, they approached me and he told me about it,” the Nigerian said of his switch to Wales. “I was excited about it and I told him ‘Yes, make it happen! And it’s come true.
“I know the club has ambition and I know Cardiff is a big club. I know they want to be in the Premier League and, it’s too soon to speak, but hopefully, with our good work, we are heading towards it.
“From the first day I just feel like I’ve been here for two years. The guys have settled and we are just rolling together every day.”