In recent years a pattern has emerged of young English players becoming frustrated at the lack of first team opportunities presented by Premier League club, the solution being to move to Germany where clubs have a reputation of giving younger players a chance to thrive and progress. So just who are these young talents who have made the move?
Jadon Sancho: Making the £8 million move from Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund aged just 17, the former Watford attacker enjoyed a successful first season in Germany and has started this one in fantastic form bagging three assists in six substitute appearances. With some calling for him to be called up into the most recent England squad, Sancho is surely on Southgate’s shortlist and will hopefully make his England debut come the end of the season. The poster-boy for this movement of players.
Mandela Egbo: A far lesser known name in comparison to Sancho, Egbo left Crystal Palace in 2015 for a fee of £360,000 to move to Borussia Monchengladbach. In the three years that have passed, the right-back has spent most of his time in the second team but has more recently made his debut for the first team, making a 10 minute cameo from the bench. He will hope this is the start of something bigger.
Keanen Bennetts: Having spent his all of his career at Tottenham Hotspur, Bennetts, like Egbo, made the move to Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee of £2.25 million. The left winger is a former England U19 international and having never made a senior appearance for Spurs, will have left the club for fear of his career stagnating. Aidy Boothroyd described moves like these as ‘good for the player’s developments’.
Reiss Nelson: The PL2 player of the season 2017/18, many Arsenal fans were desperate for Nelson to be given more opportunities in the Premier League and cup matches but the 18-year-old right winger was instead sent out on loan to Hoffenheim where he made an instant impact when bagging an assist having only been on the pitch for 15 minutes. Nelson has been in Germany for less than a month and also has a Champions League appearance to his name. One to watch.
Osayamen Osawe: A bit of a different case, Osawe isn’t an up and coming youngster. Now 25 years of age and in his fourth year in Germany, the striker has spent time with Hallescher, Kaiserslauten and now Ingolstadt in Bundesliga 2, a far higher level of football than had he stayed in England and continued to ply his trade with Southport. The former Man City youngster will be hoping playing in the Bundesliga is in his near future.
Chima Okoroji: Born in Germany to English parent, Okoroji spent time with Bayern Munich and Ausburg in his youth football years before this season progressing the Freiburg first team. The 21-year-old left-back is yet to make an appearance this season.
Others who have since moved on:
Kaylen Hinds: The former Arsenal striker made the move to Wolfsburg in 2017 having failed to make an impact out on loan at Stevenage the season prior. After two appearances for Wolfsburg, Hinds was loaned to Greuther Furth where he only played one match. Earlier this year Hinds’ contract was terminated by mutual consent. One of the more unsuccessful players on this list.
Ademola Lookman: After excelling for Charlton as a teenager, Lookman made the big move to Everton in 2017. However after finding himself out of favour with Sam Allardyce, he was loaned to RB Leipzig for the remainder of the season where he scored five goals in eleven appearances, making Everton fans wonder why he hadn’t shown this form in the Premier League. After being linked with another move to Leipzig all summer, Lookman finds himself stuck on the Everton bench at time of writing and will surely be hoping for a move away in January.
Reece Oxford: After keeping Mesut Ozil quiet for 90 minutes on his debut at the start of the 2015-16 season, over the course of the next two years Oxford found first team opportunities hard to come by and in August 2017 was loaned out to Borussia Monchengladbach for a full season where he made eight appearances in all competitions. Like Lookman, he was linked with a move away all summer but nothing ever came of the rumours and he now finds himself captaining West Ham’s U23s until January at least.
Moses Makinde: A true journeyman, born in London, Makinde played his youth football the U.S.A. spending a year with Whitehawk in the 2013-14 season. A free transfer to VfB Auerbach followed where the left-back spent one season. After a spell in Romania, he now plays for Syrianska in Sweden.
Oliver Burke: Yes, he is Scottish but he follows the same trend as the aforementioned players, hence him being on the list. After a blistering start to the 2016-17 season for Nottingham Forest, the winger moved to RB Leipzig at the end of the transfer window for a large fee. 25 appearances and 1 goal were scored in one season before moving back to England to play for West Brom as they finished bottom of the Premier League.