16-year-old Yunus Musah has joined Valencia from Arsenal. He is just the latest in a trend of English players moving abroad.
Although the teenager already appeared to have moved to Spain earlier this summer, and had even played for the club’s youth team, it had not been confirmed that he would be making the switch to the La Liga outfit.
However, the player himself announced the transfer via his Instagram account on Tuesday, saying, “Delighted to join a club with such rich history and now I get to be a part of it! Can’t wait to get started.”
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In the past, English footballers have rarely taken the plunge in moving to a foreign country to ply their trade. Between 2000 and 2016, there were just 16 players to appear in one of the other top five leagues in Europe. At the 2018 World Cup, England were the only nation to have no player playing outside of their own country.
However, that is beginning to change. In Europe’s major divisions this season, there will be 11 English representatives, and that is not even including Musah following his recent move, nor others like Chukwunonso Madueke at PSV and Jonathan Panzo at Cercle Brugge.
Youngsters are starting to realise there is a whole world out there, and that the Premier League is not the be-all and end-all. Ever since Jadon Sancho began to light up the Bundesliga after he made the switch to Borussia Dortmund, it has seemed that youngsters are now not afraid to leave their comfort zone in the quest for first-team football.
Even more established players are now starting to leave this island. Daniel Sturridge recently signed for Trabzonspor, whilst Kieran Trippier joined Atletico Madrid. Both have regularly appeared for England.
For the first time in years, Englishmen are ready to make their mark elsewhere, and it is a refreshing sight. One can only hope that it is a trend that continues in the future.