How 3 Young Lions are getting on abroad

Development in football is something that tends to come with regular game-time. Players now want to showcase their worth and in some instances do this by venturing abroad.

Jadon Sancho is just one name to follow this path and boy has it paid off. Since leaving Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017, the winger has featured significantly.

This season has seen a trend of players moving abroad and thus showing other England youth international that though it might be risky, the jump may well pay off.

The January transfer window may have seen more Young Lions take the plunge, but I look at how three England youth internationals are getting on abroad since the beginning of this season.

3 | Sheyi Ojo |

Age: 21

Position: Winger

Club: Stade de Reims (loan)

Sheyi Ojo joined Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims on loan from Liverpool at the beginning of the season.

Since graduating to the Reds’ first-team in 2015 the winger has made 13 appearances in all competitions.

His move to France is his fourth loan so far in his career but the only one outside of England.

Ojo has played for England at U-16 level all the way to U-21 level, but how is the Young Lion faring at Reims?

So far this season the 21-year-old has made 16 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal – this came in a 3-4 defeat to US Orléans in Coupe de la Lique. He also has only one assist to his name, setting-up Matthieu Cafaro in the club’s Coupe De France second round loss to FC Toulouse.

Looking at those stats you’d expect more from a promising young winger. However, there are still games to be played and Ojo could find himself contributing a lot more come the end of the season.

2 | Ronaldo Vieira |

Age: 20

Position: Centre-Midfielder

Club: Sampdoria

Ronaldo Vieira joined Italian side Sampdoria from Leeds United on August 1 2018.

The midfielder spent three seasons at Elland Road before moving abroad. He made a total 71 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal.

His move to Sampdoria may have come as a bit of a surprise to some as the 20-year-Old was a regular in Yorkshire.

Now in Italy, Vieira has made only six appearances in all competitions – a poor amount considering his ability.

If he wants to stay a England U-21 international he needs to play. Whether this is still in Italy, who knows? Vieira may be questioning his decision to move.

1 | Patrick Roberts |

Age: 22

Position: Winger

Club: Girona FC (loan)

Patrick Roberts joined Girona FC on loan from Manchester City at the beginning of the season.

The City Football Group own 44.3 per cent of the Spanish outfit, so the chance to use the club for youth player development can’t go a miss.

Since joining City in 2015, Roberts has only made three appearances in all competitions.

This loan is his second away from the club, with the winger spending the last two-and-a-half seasons on loan at Celtic.

Roberts has represented England at U-16 to U-20 level.

With him now being too old to represent the U21s, I’m sure he will be wanting to show his ability and hopefully break into the senior team.

So how has the 22-year-old got on in Spain?

Well, thus far he has made 10 La Liga and two Copa del Rey appearances, failing to score in any of these games.

He has however had a hamstring injury since December – the reason for minimal appearances.

It is looking like he is back to fitness and could feature significantly for the remainder of the season.

As ever, the development of England’s next generation is hugely important. Regardless of a player’s age, if the ability is there then they deserve a first-team chance.

These three Young Lions will be hoping to be in the next list of considerations for Gareth Southgate’s squad – first though, gaining more game-time and playing consistently well is the aim.

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