The Bundesliga's hunt for new English stars is a warning sign for the Premier League
There's a reason why the Premier League is in the mainstream. From it's overwhelming money pot from international television deals, to it's exciting foreign stars of world football, and arguably some of the best managers on the planet all in one league.
But when young England star Jadon Sancho put pen to paper on signing a contract with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund back in the summer of 2017 - it was just the start. The start of a rising trend which would soon be echoing around the academies and dressing rooms in the English top flight.
The transfer of the U17 World Cup winner from Manchester City over to Germany sent out a revealing message, a positive one to young English talent, but shone a negative light on the so-called 'best league in the world'.
VIDEO: 18-year-old Sancho has since had his first cap for England since joining the Yellows, and is now dubbed as the most valuable player in the Bundesliga (£65million)at this moment in time.
For all it's world-class flair, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Paul Pogba, there's an overlooked problem amongst teams in England. More often than not, young national players don't seem to be making the cut, but why?
Premier League's Financial Pressure
It's no secret that the Premier League offer the most lucrative financial rewards out of any football division on the earth.
The German sides are aware of the big bucks in England, and the stance they are taking is a very clever one.
They know there is pressure for those clubs to stay in the Premier League due to the financial dividends, and this means they will continue to spend. They've looked strategically at the success of the England youth sides, with the U17's and U20's winning World Cups, and in many ways hit the jackpot.
To 100% comprehend the reasons, you would have to be in the players' shoes, but from the outside looking in, it's easy to combine thoughts as to why they aren't seeing the light of day much in England's first-tier.
Why aren't these players getting the chance in England?
For instance; West Bromwich Albion, who were relegated to the Championship after finishing 20th in the 2017/18 season, were rewarded with a near-£95million settlement which included domestic and overseas TV payments.
If that's the lowest a side is getting paid for finishing bottom of a league, then a lot of that cash is going to be spent on more 'established' and 'ready-made players' rather than giving the youth a chance.
With the disposal of riches at these outfits, club-record transfers are being broken every time the transfer window comes around - meaning more instant quality into the side, and less trust in the younger players.
Arsenal, a team who have finished fifth and sixth over the last two seasons have forked out a whopping £211million on first-team recruits in that time, including ex-Dortmund attacker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang for £57.3million and former Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette for £48million.
"Money is going to be spent on more 'established' and 'ready-made players' rather than giving the youth a chance."
To put the financial situation into context, Bayern Munich, Germany's top club have earned less from TV rights than West Brom did, and have spent £93million less than the sixth-placed team in England over the past 18 months.
Who has Germany attracted?
An exciting prospect in 19-year-old Reiss Nelson hardly got a sniff of action for Arsenal. Bundesliga side TSG Hoffenheim were alert to that, so decided to take the Englishman on loan for the 2018/19 season. The young starlet's value has now shot up by £15million, just with game time.
Young Gunners 18-year-old Emile Smith-Rowe has completed a medical at RB Leipzig on deadline day, and Eddie Nketiah, 19, was a target for FC Augsburg but they couldn't get the deal over the line. So, instead turned their attention to Reece Oxford of West Ham United - who has completed a loan move to the Fuggerstadter - having had previous spells at Monchengladbach. The conveyor belt doesn't seem to be stopping.
Another rising star in England is Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi. The 18-year-old winger has showed promise at times this season, so much so - that Bayern have tried with four bids to seal his signature. The Blues have carried on with the spending though, as their new recruit from Dortmund, Christian Pulisic, joins in the summer for a fee of £58million. Surely that money could have been saved with the emergence of Hudson-Odoi?
The previous campaign saw Ademola Lookman of Everton, join Leipzig across the border on-loan for six months. The former Charlton Athletic player wasn't getting minutes on the field at Goodison Park, so instead, tried his hand in Germany. He managed to score five goals in 11 games, including a last-minute winner against Borussia Monchengladbach. As of today, he's only managed three full 90 minutes for the Toffees.
So why are these English talents seeking solace in Germany? - To find game time. To try a different culture, in which only very few players from the UK have done over many years. To prove they are ready for the big time in a top European league. To show their parent or former club what they are missing.
Alarm bells should be ringing in the Premier League's headquarters.