It is a common complaint...
‘Why don’t any English footballers play abroad?’
In the past top footballers such as Chris Waddle, Kevin Keegan and David Platt have excelled away from England and that trend should have grown with the ever increasing globalization of the game. However the power and draw of the Premier League means very few do make the leap of faith whilst Spanish, Italian and German players are much less loyal to their homelands.
Recent success away from home has come at Real Madrid, with Steve McManaman and David Beckham both having reasonably successful stays in the Spanish capital; yet for Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Owen the time in Spain was less memorable. Owen Hargreaves excelled for Bayern Munich, but the Canadian born sicknote had never lived in England before his move to Germany.
But Joe Cole impressed in France last season and Joe Barton looks set to follow in those footsteps.
So why not now? With several English players reportedly available which ones should push for a move abroad?
Almost certainly on his way out of Manchester but should he consider a move away from England? His style of play is universal, but the left footer from the right wing is extremely popular on the continent, especially in Spain where his technical ability would shine. He has played consistently well in an England shirt and must have caught the eye on these occasions.
Could it happen?
There were mooted reports that he had caught the eye of Lazio scouts during an impressive first half against Italy earlier in the month, but it is far more likely he will go to Sunderland, Liverpool or Spurs.
Is reportedly available for loan, with Stoke being the early frontrunners for his signature. Yet, like Adam, he is another Englishmen with huge potential. His range of passing would see him settle into any league, and as for his powerful physique that is another universally coveted trend.
Another who is in trouble of being moved on by Spurs as Jan Vertonghen, William Gallas, Younes Kaboul and even Steven Caulker may now be in front of him in the pecking order. Reportedly wanted by Liverpool, Dawson would suit the German game brilliantly and would join fellow Englishmen Michael Mancienne in the Bundesliga; or in any other of Europe’s top leagues.
This guy could be a force in the Italian league. He was originally linked with AC Milan but that move never materialised and they have recently signed Giampaolo Pazzini of similar ilk. Sure he may not suit the technical savvy leagues of Spain or Germany but in Italy, or even France, where the demand for a large framed towering striker is still present he could be a real handful.
So why don’t they move abroad? It surely can’t be an overbearing to the Premier League. Maybe European sides just don’t want English players, who are ‘technically inferior’. Not to mention English players come at English prices; with cash in short supply throughout the Eurozone not many would want to forge the expense of an Englishmen.
Maybe it is a chicken and egg scenario? Foreign clubs won’t come in for English players because they know English players won’t play abroad? Who knows, but any of the 4 players mentioned above could easily forge a career across the channel on ze continent.
What do you think? Should more Englishmen play abroad? If so, why don’t they?
image: © apasciuto