Among all the deadline day deals, one stood out for the rarity of such a deal. Jadon Sancho, an exciting young English talent has made the bold move of leaving Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund. Sancho didn’t believe he had a future at City, yet rather than moving within England, he took a path much untraveled by English players, to continental Europe. Sancho, still only 17, has been given the number 7 shirt at Dortmund, a sign that he figures in their first team plans. With English players seemingly so reluctant to make these types of transfers we wondered if they’re missing out and if it has a detrimental effect on the national team?
If you think of any major International team outside of the British Isles, you could name a number of players playing outside of their home country. Yet when it comes to English players, for whatever reason, they’re reluctant to move outside of English football. With English clubs being criticised for the number of foreign players plying their trade having a negative impact of young English players, perhaps these young English talent should see this less as frustration and more as an opportunity. An opportunity not many take, but one young Jadon Sancho seems to have seized.
If you look at the last two World Cup winners, Germany and Spain, each have players who have left their home comforts to improve their football career. Cesc Fàbregas, Mesut Özil, Gerard Pique and Shkodran Mustafi are all examples of players who made a move abroad young in their career and ended up as World Cup winners. Had these players waited for opportunities in La Liga or the Bundesliga, such was the competition, they may not have ended up the players they are today. If you contrast that with young English players, Sancho’s move is an anomaly, with most young English players choosing to stay in the Premier League or even drop below into the Championship and beyond rather than pursue an exciting new challenge abroad. This stance of English players is perfectly summed up by Thomas Ince, who turned down Inter Milan and Monaco to move to Hull. Yes, you read that correctly, he turned down a move to the French Riviera to instead move to Humberside!
Although young English players may like to stay in England due to home comforts, this isn’t the only reason. Such is the money in the Premier League, clubs are able to pay more than their European counterparts. The wealth of the Premier League is shown by the fact that in 2013 QPR spent more on wages than Champions League finalists and Sancho’s new team Borussia Dotmund.
Do young English players not want to leave their comfort zone, or do they just want more money? Whatever the reason English players very rarely move abroad, Sancho’s move represents an exciting opportunity. Playing in front of 80,000 passionate fans at a club renowned for bringing through young players. Mario Götze, Christian Pulisic and, of course the man Sancho is replacing, Ousmane Dembélé have all thrived at Dortmund. Jadon Sancho has left his comfort zone and prioritised football over money so that he has the opportunity to thrive at Dortmund too.
Should more young English talent follow Sancho abroad? Would such a move benefit the national team in the long run? Let us know what you think in the comments below!