The exodus of League of Ireland players to English League One clubs will eventually benefit the League, according to football agent Pat Deane.
There is an ongoing issue in the League of Ireland, as clubs do not seem to be able to hold onto their players with the lure of more money in England.
While previously the league was losing players to Championship sides, or on rare occasions Premier League teams, the current transfer window has seen the best Irish players heading to the third level of English football.
However, it is the reported and speculated 'cheap fees' that the players are going over for that has frustrated Irish fans. In spite of this, though, football agent Pat Deane revealed that the Irish transfers have been worth more than what is on social media.
Speaking on The Football Show on Thursday, Deane discussed some of the recent League of Ireland transfers and the fees they went for.
"Darragh Burns wasn't cheap, Dawson Devoy wasn't cheap and Promise Omochere wasn't cheap," Deane said. "When I see on social media some of the figures bandied about, they're wrong!
"The players are 20 or 21, they've hopefully got 10 good years in their career. They have to think about where are they going to be able to buy a house from? They want to have something out of football.
"Do they want to go over at 23 or 24 on a Bosman [Free transfer]? No. If you take away the Danny Mândroiu, the other ones weren't as cheap as people think they were at all."
'It will benefit the League of Ireland'
There is little doubt that the League of Ireland losing some of their best players to English clubs will have a negative impact on the quality of football on the island.
However, Deane feels that, ultimately the transfers will have a positive impact on the state of the league, due to sell-on clauses in the transfers.
"The other thing is that the sell-ons for the clubs will be lucrative," Deane said. "A club like MK Dons, they've sold Harry Darling, they've sold Scott Twine, they'd been at the club for a year, year and a bit.
"It is going to benefit the League of Ireland in the long run. There will be money coming back into the league from deals done in 2022.
"It might be coming back into the league, a bit like the Matt Doherty thing when he went from Wolves to Tottenham, 10 years later.
"I think that's the exception, but I do feel that the clubs in England respect the League of Ireland. It does give them an element of the unknown."
However it is not just the League that Deane feels will benefit from the transfers in the long run.
"It is good for the players," Deane said. "They are going to be exposed to the natural clubs that will look at them, the Championship clubs.
"In the past, players would have gone over to the Championship not being at that level yet. I think League One will provide them with a development plan to be able to proceed up to the Championship."
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