The Premier League returns tonight with Brentford and Arsenal kicking it off. Both sides have a number of Englishmen in their ranks and our players going abroad has become more common in recent years. A while ago it was the crème de la crème venturing to different shores, the likes of Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker and David Beckham. In the current day, a wave made popular by Jadon Sancho sees younger talent leave England in the search for that golden opportunity to prove themselves. Here are a few Englishmen and a woman too, who play their club football outside of the Premier League and the WSL…
Jude Bellingham, Dortmund
The aforementioned Jadon Sancho of course made his name with Borussia Dortmund and the next man in line there is Jude Bellingham. The midfielder left his beloved Birmingham City for a staggering £25+ million at just seventeen-years-old. He got his chance under the now-departed Lucien Favre and quickly started getting mass attention. Bellingham featured in Gareth Southgate’s England squad that reached the Euro 2020 final and became the youngest ever player to play at the tournament in the process. Age is just the craziest part here given that we could still be talking about Bellingham as one of the very best in the business in ten years time. It’ll be fascinating to see what the departure of Sancho and the arrival of Marco Rose does for Jude.
Noni Madueke, PSV
Moving from Germany to the Netherlands to a player with less attention than Bellingham. Noni Madueke is an explosive winger who works wonders with the ball at his feet for PSV Eindhoven. He’s a nineteen-year-old from Barnet and he featured for the England U21’s in the unsuccessful Euros campaign under Aidy Boothroyd earlier this year. Madueke netted twice in a wholly impressive display against rivals Ajax in the Johan Cruyff Shield as his side cruised to a 4-0 win. He has the potential to become as good, if not better than Jadon Sancho. His direct running and skilful nature is frightening and coming off of a strong pre-season, Madueke could announce himself to a worldwide audience in 2021/22.
Kieran Trippier, Atletico Madrid
Putting youth to one side for a moment and Kieran Trippier moving to the Spanish capital certainly raised a few eyebrows. Not many players have played for Burnley as well as lifting the La Liga title in their career so it’s something different but he has become a whole different beast with Atleti. There is no better manager for a defender to learn from than Diego Simeone and the way he re-captured his best form saw him join Bellingham in Southgate’s squad. There have been rumours linking the fullback to Manchester United over the last twelve months or so, but Atleti are in pole position to retain the Spanish title given the calamitous situation that Barcelona and Real Madrid find themselves in, in relative terms.
Fikayo Tomori, AC Milan
Fikayo Tomori went on loan to Derby County along with Mason Mount to be managed by Chelsea Frank Lampard and he excelled. The pair then featured at Stamford Bridge amidst the transfer ban and whilst Mount was the go-to man, Tomori for whatever reason was in-and-out of the team. A loan move to the red half of Milan came to fruition at the start of this calendar year and his talent was quickly unveiled once again. Tomori swiftly displaced AC captain Alessio Romagnoli at the heart of defence and alongside Dane Simon Kjaer, formed a centre-back pairing that helped gain Champions League football. The Canada-born defender played so well under Pioli and as a result, they were chomping at the bit to make his move permanent and that they have for a snip in reality.
Jonathan Panzo, Dijon
From one Chelsea youth graduate to another and it was a poor first season in France for Jonathan Panzo on a team front. Dijon faced the drop from Ligue 1 and thus Panzo will be playing second-tier football unless he gets a late move away. Panzo has five U21 caps to his name and yet he is still one of those Chelsea men to be forgotten about really, solely because there are just so many players being churned out. Trevor Chalobah is another name to have been loaned out to France last season and now it would seem he is firmly in the plans of Tuchel. He has impressed in pre-season and was great against Villarreal in the Super Cup so that maybe leaves a path for Panzo to follow if he can come to the fore for Dijon.
Amy Turner, Orlando Pride
To the final name on the list then and we’re going stateside. Man United were a great team under Casey Stoney last season, pushing Arsenal all the way for that third Champions League spot. Since then though, not only has Stoney swapped Manchester for the NWSL expansion side in San Diego, but a number of players have moved on too amidst problems off the field. The issues in women’s football regarding funding becomes apparent with United, the basic essentials such as toilets and changing rooms weren’t even properly accessible which is disgraceful really. American duo Tobin Heath and Christen Press have returned to the States and defender Amy Turner has followed them too. She plays for Orlando Pride alongside fellow Lionesses Jade Moore and Jodie Taylor and there are several big names down in Florida. Marta, Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Sydney Leroux are just some of the huge talent that the Pride possesses so Turner has definitely walked into an enticing project!