It is not uncommon for young South American or African footballers to head over to Europe at a young age to improve themselves and to hopefully forge out a career for themselves.
What is not so common however is young English players who venture abroad with the same intentions. This could be a trend that is changing however and with the likes of Jadon Sancho hitting the headlines this year after moving from Man City to Borussia Dortmund where he has found great success, there is a compelling case for more young English talent to get a taste of foreign football.
Here, football expert Ahmed Nashaat lays out why young Englishmen should look to foreign soil.
Each league and nation has its own way of playing and when young English talent experiences this they can add different facets to their game. A prime example of this would be Eric Der who went to Portugal at a young age and came up through the academy at Sporting Lisbon. Diet has all the trademark attributes of an English defender or defensive midfielder yet he also possesses great ball playing skills and a wide range of passing as a result of his time on the continent.
Many young English players don’t get the time which they should at their clubs because of the pressure to succeed on the manager’s shoulders, not to mention the expensive foreign talent that is being brought in. Take the likes of Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus Cheek who at 22 years old should be on the starting lineup almost weekly.
Loftus Cheek eventually got a loan move last year where he impressed but one can’t help thinking that if he had ventured abroad at the age of 17 or 18, that he would now be a world-beater. Even at Man City, Phil Foden was regularly rated better than Sancho yet Sancho is now hitting the headlines and Foden is still an unrealized talent. Young players must get minutes and heading abroad could be the best place for it.
It is more than fair to say that the British media, the tabloid media, in particular, are terrible when it comes to speaking about young talent, either building them up to be something that they are not, or berating them for not living up to the hype.
When players head abroad however there is far less media attention on them, unless they are playing extraordinarily well. This can greatly help young players to stay focused on the job in hand and they are able to develop and improve far from the watching eye of the media, where they are treated on their merits rather than any ideals about how good they may turn out to be.
If English players want to develop, heading to foreign soil could be exactly what they need in order to truly realize their potential.