While players from Europe have flocked to the Premier League since its inception in the early 1990s, English players heading in the opposite direction have always been in the minority. However, that now seems to be changing.
Plenty of English players have flocked to Europe over the last few seasons, and now it’s increasingly common for young talent to move abroad.
Here are five English youngsters impressing outside the Premier League.
#1 Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
There’s probably a fair argument to be made that Jadon Sancho inspired the current trend for young English talent heading to Europe.
The winger made a surprise move from Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund as a 17-year-old in the summer of 2017. And since then, he’s gone from strength to strength in the Bundesliga.
It took Sancho just two months to make his Dortmund first-team debut. And in April 2018, the English forward scored his first goal for the club and registered two assists in the same match.
The 2018-19 season saw him make 34 Bundesliga appearances, scoring 12 goals and registering 14 assists. And in late 2018, he picked up his first England senior caps, too.
Sancho continued to improve at an astonishing rate into 2019-20, scoring 17 goals and registering 16 assists in 2292 minutes of play – meaning he averaged a goal involvement every 69 minutes.
And while those ridiculous standards have dropped somewhat in the current campaign, he’s still scored five and made eight assists.
Perennially linked with a move away from Dortmund, the summer of 2021 could well see Sancho make his much-rumored move to Manchester United.
But even if he does, he’s already made his mark as one of the most successful English exports to Europe – at the age of just 20.
#2 Stephy Mavididi (Montpellier)
The latest name to join that list is English striker Stephy Mavididi. The England youth international spent eight years with the Gunners’ academy but left the club in 2018 as a 20-year-old, moving to Italian giants Juventus.
Despite becoming the first English player to play for the Old Lady since David Platt, Mavididi could not succeed in Turin.
But rather than move back to England, he instead headed to France. With Dijon, he scored five goals in 24 appearances during the 2019-20 campaign.
The summer of 2020 then saw the striker move to Montpellier for around €6m, and since then, the former Arsenal man has hit the ground running.
Mavididi has established himself as a regular starter for Michel de Zakarian’s side, making 23 Ligue 1 appearances. Able to play as a central striker or a wide forward, he’s scored six goals thus far, including strikes against Monaco and Paris St. Germain.
With his recent brace against Rennes garnering comparisons to Kylian Mbappe, it’s safe to say that it’s only a matter of time before Mavididi starts to garner some major hype in his native England, too.