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This week, we look at the verb to ‘to poach‘. The end of the European season is here and it is now traditionally a time for buying and selling players. While some clubs want to offload unwanted players, others are looking to strengthen their squad. When talking about buying a player, phrases like ‘bring in’, ‘secure the move of’, and ‘sign’ are used. But sometimes a player is persuaded to move from Club A to Club B against Club A’s wishes; they don’t want to sell hi,m but the buyer persuades the player to move – the buyer poaches the player. To poach means to illegally trap or kill animals from someone else’s land. To poach a player in football means to buy them in a secretive, somehow dishonest way – to steal them. Many Everton fans are worried that new Manchester United manager, David Moyes, their ex-manager, will try and poach some of their stars, especially Fellini and sign them for United. To poach.
See also poacher – a special kind of goal scorer.
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For more on this topic check out the Language of Transfers.