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The Bundesliga - a tempting choice for today's young English players

  • Here is a look at why Premier League clubs are finding it difficult to ward off interest from their German counterparts
Modified 18 Jan 2019, 15:24 IST
Callum Hudson-Odoi - the next big thing at Chelsea
Callum Hudson-Odoi - the next big thing at Chelsea

With Bayern Munich actually matching Chelsea’s ask of £35 million for youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi, a potential transfer is seemingly on the cards for the youngster. It seems quite difficult for Chelsea to keep a hold of this young talent who has his heart set on a move to Munich. His fellow compatriots Reiss Nelson and Jadon Sancho are already enjoying their lives in Germany with TSG Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

If Bayern's transfer bid is indeed successful, the Chelsea starlet's name will be added to a growing list of players leaving the Premier League for the Bundesliga.

With Hudson-Odoi close to that move to Germany, here is a look at why the Bundesliga is tempting young English talents away from the country they represent, and why this has become a headache for the English clubs.

In August of 2017, Manchester City's teenage sensation Jadon Sancho rejected a contract offer from the club and decided to start a new journey with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

Just two months after signing for the club, Sancho was given his senior debut for Dortmund at the age of just 17 when he came on as a substitute against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Since then, Sancho has not looked back and is now keeping the likes of Christian Pulisic and Maximilian Philipp out of the side. In his 17 Bundesliga appearances this season, he has managed six goals and seven assists averaging a goal/assist every 79 minutes.

Thoroughly impressed by his recent performances, Gareth Southgate gave Sancho his senior England debut last month, at the age of just 18. Today, Sancho has become an extremely vital player for the Dortmund team whereas his fellow England teammates who are arguably as talented as him are struggling to get opportunities in the Premier League.

Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson, Bundesliga
Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson, Bundesliga's English

Just last summer, Arsenal agreed a deal with TSG Hoffenheim to send one of their hot prospects Reiss Nelson on loan to the German club. Since then, Nelson has made 13 appearances for the club scoring 6 goals.


He is regularly involved in Hoffenheim’s games and is now considered a serious attacking threat to any Bundesliga defense, going by his recent performances.

Had he stayed at Arsenal, he would have constantly been in the shadow of Aubameyang, Iwobi, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette and Arsenal's other attacking stalwarts. Today, however, he is making a name for himself in Germany.

With these two players making the most of their fair share of chances in the Bundesliga, other English youngsters have been visibly frustrated by their lack of game time in the Premier League in the recent past.

Their two fellow English teammates have certainly set a fine example for an excellent career path in Germany, and it is no wonder that the Bundesliga has become a tempting choice for several English youngsters today.

Rolling back a few years, the manner in which Liverpool have developed the likes of Raheem Sterling or Trent Alexander Arnold has been coherent with the traditional way of developing young English talents. Spurs have also followed suit with Dele Alli, and so have Manchester United with Marcus Rashford. All these players were introduced to the senior squad and to the first team games when they were just 18. Today, they play at the top of their game, posing a significant threat to any opposition they play against.

England's youngsters taking charge at the World Cup

This practice of academy player development must take place more often now among the giants of the Premier League, because England has the hottest prospects in the world, particularly when it comes to players of age 17 or 18.

Last year, England even won the U-17 World Cup. Instead of sending these youngsters out on loan to a club faced with relegation, or playing them at U-23 level, they need to be exposed to the pressure of playing for a top team in order to further aid their growth.

Reiss Nelson and Jadon Sancho have had similar progressions in their career. They play for top sides in the Bundesliga, and this has definitely helped them build their game to the very next level.

The Premier League has become highly competitive in recent years, and the margin for error is close to zero. In such situations, it is a massive risk for Premier League clubs to keep their youngsters satisfied by promising them regular football.

And now with money playing a big part especially in the Premier League, the development of these young prospects which was once treated as a priority is now neglected to some extent. This has, in turn, resulted in them being tempted to take the Bundesliga route.

And due to this Bundesliga effect, the English clubs are finding it increasingly difficult to convince their hot prospects to stay at the club instead of flying off to Germany, as is the case with Chelsea and their youngster Hudson-Odoi.    

Published 10 Jan 2019, 01:00 IST
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