Into the second week of the international break, and there hasn’t been a lot to talk about in England’s top flight, there wasn’t even a major injury to complain about this time around. In lieu of the rather uneventful week I’m going to mull over one of the rarer topics in football today, club loyalty.

Steven Gerrard recently celebrated his 11th year as captain of Liverpool, the club he has spent his entire career at, notching up 678 appearances and 176 goals so far.

In the modern game, a player that spends such a long period of time in once place, especially a player with the talent of Gerrard, is almost unheard of, double so when you consider the relatively unsuccessful years that the club has gone through during much of his career.

Once or twice he flirted with leaving, admitting that he had one foot out the door at one point, in pursuit of the league title that has eluded him for so long, but in the end he always stayed at home.

Much of the news surrounding talented players in the league lately has focused on whether or not the league is going to be able to keep them from leaving to a more successful foreign cub.

In the last three seasons, one of the best players of the year has left for one of the big two clubs in Spain, and it is getting rarer to see all the top class signings in the league at one time, especially with the rise of the money clubs in France and Russia.

One example of this is Raheem Sterling, Liverpool’s 19-year-old star, who is reported to be on the cusp of signing a new big money contract, in an effort to ward off wealthier suitors in the transfer windows to come.

Casting an eye at the league as a whole, very few clubs are heavily represented with players that have grown through the ranks, and those that do break through are often considered “too raw,” and are transferred elsewhere, only to return for more money years later.

The last club to prominently feature a large number of academy graduates was Manchester United, who fielded David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and many others from the academy, and formed an all-conquering team around them.

Foreign clubs such as Barcelona and La Masia, the revered academy that has produced so many stars, have built names on producing their own talent but even that seems to be slowing down in recent years, as the club has made big money purchases in order to move forward.

As the modern game evolves, and money becomes a more prominent factor in success, the concept of club loyalty may take on a whole new definition, with a loyal player staying for three or four years before moving on, or it may vanish all together.

Either way it is important to recognize the players that truly embody the tradition, as they become more and more rare each year.