‘The more players travel abroad and play the better’: Gareth Southgate urges English youngsters to follow in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho as he admits Three Lions have ‘suffered’ from not encouraging more stars to look beyond the Premier League
- Gareth Southgate has long been an advocate of English players moving abroad
- Southgate believes there are plenty of benefits to developing overseas
- He feels the English game has suffered for not following lead of other nations
Gareth Southgate has urged more English players to follow Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham’s lead and move abroad to develop their game.
Southgate has spoken before about the need for the English game to shed its island mentality and look at the bigger picture beyond the Premier League.
Sancho moved from Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund three years ago and Bellingham joined him last summer after leaving Birmingham City.
England manager Gareth Southgate believes more players can benefit from playing abroad
Jadon Sancho moved to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City to realise his potential
In an interview with GQ, the England manager suggested that players who move abroad, learn a new language and adapt in a new place ‘helps to make them a more rounded person and in the end that’ll help you as a player’.
Southgate added: ‘We’ve had a few guys go there on loan to other clubs. Not all of those have been successful.
‘Jadon [Sancho] is the obvious example who has been a success, Jude [Bellingham] has started really well but I think the more players travel abroad and play the better.’
Jude Bellingham left Birmingham City last summer to join Sancho at Dortmund in Germany
Southgate believes that English football – in particular the national team – has been slow to realise the benefits of players moving abroad to fulfil or at least start to unlock their potential.
He said: ‘The rest of Europe has always done that and very often their league hasn’t been able to support the better players, the smaller countries, Croatia, Portugal, Belgium, they’ve exported their players.’
‘So their own league is full of their best young players and their better players then go and play in Serie A, the Bundesliga or the Premier League or La Liga.’
‘We haven’t done that and we’ve probably suffered as a consequence of that. Our players weren’t exposed to different tactical requirements and to those life experiences that help to improve you as a person.’