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From Sancho to Hargreaves: Three English talents to come out from abroad academy

Bengaluru, Nov 29: Over the years there have been many fine talents coming out from England but most of the players have been a sort of homesick stars. Most of the top flight English internationals have developed their game only in the British colonies and there has been serious lack of intention for going abroad to experience different talents.

However, still there has been few names who in their youth tried to follow a different route and apart from sticking with his homeland, experienced a different culture, different football style to develop their game.

Here are three English international who left the English shores early to develop their game and eventually upgraded themselves to be a star.

1. Jadon Sancho

The most current name that can be said in this list is youngster Jadon Sancho. The young winger from Manchester was a budding talent of City academy and already was a prominent name in the domestic circuit. But at 17 year of age, he made a brave choice. Instead of signing a new professional deal with Manchester City, he chose to leave the country to Germany, Dortmund where youngsters are given preferences.

With four goals and an assist in the Bundesliga, things started a little slow for him with the player making just 12 league appearances in his first campaign. But this season the player seemed to have found a new rhythm as only as an 18-year-old he has established himself as a regular in Dortmund set-up, providing eight assists and scored five goals of his own in just 18 appearances. His recent development also earned him his first three England caps in the process and if progress is to be seen, the player is well on course to be a star in making.

2. Eric Dier

Eric Dier

Tottenham Hotspurs defensive talent is another one of those players who also at an early chose Portugal as a country to develop his game. At seven years of age, he joined the rich young side of Sporting Lisbon and slowly advanced into the senior set-up over the years. He although had a brief spell in England with a loan time at Everton in the summer of 2011 however that turned out to be dull.

But later from the next season, he slowly adjusted in the Sporting senior side and eventually upon his promotion to the first-team in 2012, he started attracting the eye of Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine manager then in 2014 decided to bring him the player and since then he has established himself as one of the finest defensive midfielders of current English crops. The 24-year-old now has 38 international to his name and even played an integral part in England's journey to the semifinal in the World cup this season.

3. Owen Hargreaves

Literally, the retired English midfielder is one of the best talents ever to come out from a foreign academy. Born in Canada, the 37-year-old midfielder instead of following his family's root, at 16-years of age chose to join Germany's most profound academy Bayern Munich.

And after making his debut in 2000, the box to box midfielder never had to look back again. He enjoyed a successful time at the German club, making 210 appearances for the Bavarians and scoring 10 goals in the process, winning 4 Bundesliga titles, 3 DFB Pokal, a DFB Liga Pokal, am UEFA Champions League and an Intercontinental Cup while playing his trade next in England with Manchester United which also boasts with one Premier League and one Champions League title. He, however, had to retire from football in 2012 due to injury issues but still is regarded as one of the finest English midfielders of all time. He is also one of the two English players to have won a UEFA Champions League medal with a non-English club.

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Story first published: Thursday, November 29, 2018, 22:18 [IST]
Other articles published on Nov 29, 2018