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Most Exciting English Talents Playing Abroad


English players taking their careers across to Europe is not a new phenomenon. In the 1990s, Paul Gascoigne had a three-year stint at Lazio. The decade after saw David Beckham leave Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2003. In more recent times we have seen top English talents like Jadon Sancho decide to play his football outside of England, becoming a well-known name in the Bundesliga.

Like Sancho, there are more and more young English players moving into other European leagues to further their development. Here are the most exciting Englishmen currently playing their football abroad.

Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)

At just 19, Jude Bellingham has just signed for football giants Real Madrid for a fee of £88m, which could rise to £114m.

The Birmingham Academy product is now a regular for the England National team and is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world.

His journey outside of England began at only 17 years old, when he moved to Borussia Dortmund. During his time in Germany, Bellingham won a DFB-Pokal cup in 2021 and made the Bundesliga team of the season twice in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, proving how a move away from England can help a player’s development substantially.

Samuel Iling-Junior (Juventus)

This 19-year-old winger currently plays his football in Italy with Juventus.

Iling-Junior, born in London, started his football career at Chelsea, joining the west London outfit at the age of eight in 2011. He then rejected a scholarship deal in 2020 after drawing interest from top European clubs.

The versatile winger left England for Italy during the start of the Covid pandemic, which made it even more of a challenge when combined with being just 17 years old at the time. Since being at Juventus, the England Under 20 international has been able to break into the first team, and has made 18 appearances and scored one goal – in Serie A back in May.

For his efforts at the Italian giants, Iling-Junior was rewarded with a new contract in December 2022 which lasts until the summer of 2025.

Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (Dortmund)

Jamie Bynoe-Gittens has had a similar journey to Jadon Sancho. The 18-year-old attacker ended a two-year stay at Manchester City in 2020 to join Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer.

In Germany, Bynoe-Gittens has been able to develop his ability, thanks in large part to featuring 20 times for Dortmund’s first team last season. In the Bundesliga, the former Reading academy prospect was able to bag three goals – all off the bench.

On the international stage with England, he was part of the England Under 20 side that won the European Championship last summer. Bynoe-Gittens is another example of how a move away from the English youth system can enable a player’s ability to flourish at a much quicker rate.

Other English players who have established themselves abroad

All three of the players mentioned are still only teenagers and have higher levels to reach in terms of their ability. But there are also slightly older players who have made it abroad after leaving England.

Angel Gomes, formerly of Manchester United, has made his name in France with Lille. The 22-year-old has become a regular feature in Ligue 1, starting 34 games and providing two goals with six assists last season.

Looking back to Italy, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham have also had success after making the move to a European league. Both 25-year-olds came through the Chelsea academy and have both featured for England under Gareth Southgate.

Tomori has been at AC Milan since 2021 and was an integral part of their title-winning team in the 2021-22 season. Abraham has also won in Italy, having European success in the UEFA Conference League in the 2021-22 campaign, in which he scored 17 Serie A goals in 37 appearances.

All six examples are current English names making their way in football at a high level through playing abroad. With the amount of success these players are having away from England, it will only attract more young English talents to make the switch and move abroad to play their football.


Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


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