Technically inferior, too egotistical, reliance on English language and money are all reasons that have been forwarded as to why barely any young Englishman decides to play abroad. Whilst a wealth of talented Spanish, German and Italian boys go across Europe to develop their game barely any Englishman are currently playing in mainland Europe.
I could only find two outfield players of note; Eric Dier in the youth team at Sporting Lisbon and Michael Mancienne playing for Hamburg in the Bundesliga.
And it struck me that I haven’t heard much about the man who earned a staggering 30 caps at Under-21 level since his move across the water.
So what ever happened to Mancienne?
Mancienne started his career at Kingstonian before signing for Chelsea as a youngster going on to make a handful of appearances for The Blues and being named their Young Player of the Year in 2009. But it was on loan spells at QPR and Wolves where he really made an impact. After 2 seasons in a row as a regular at Loftus Road he went to Wolves on loan, helping them achieve promotion to the Premier League and subsequent survival in the top flight 2 years running.
His versatility and pace have always made him a sought after player and he made the huge career move to Germany last summer for just over a million pounds. Frank Arnesen, the former sporting director at Chelsea, had brought in several former Chelsea youth players and Mancienne was one of his main targets when he took the same mantle at HSV.
Since then it has been topsy-turvy for Michael, in and out of the side at the Imtech Arena; and suffering niggling injuries throughout his first term.
He knows of course the expectations of Englishmen at Hamburg are high, where Kevin Keegan is a club legend after his successful stint at the club where he won European footballer of the year in 1978 and 1979. So with a potential cash crisis at the club and recent arrival of competition in the form of former Baggie Paul Scharner will Mancienne head back to his homeland?
Stale Solbakken is reportedly keen on bringing him back to Molineux next season but Mancienne is determined to make it with the Rothosen and become one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga. His motivation to lead the way in English footballers playing abroad is clear. He forced his way into the England set up under Fabio Capello whilst playing in the Championship and is determined to do the same playing in the Bundesliga; so next season try and spare a thought to the Englishman trying to go it alone abroad?