‘Stars can flourish abroad’


Roy Hodgson says the England team would benefit if some of its players headed overseas to secure regular first-team football.

The Three Lions manager believes his current crop of youngsters are good enough to “win games for England” but could flourish away from the Premier League.

Hodgson said: “With England we had a very young side at the World Cup and could be even younger going forward. 

England v Norway

International match
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
8pm Wednesday 28 September
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“We are going to have to accept that some young players – who I think are good enough and can win games for England – will not always be first choice for their teams in England.

“It wouldn’t hurt them at all to go abroad. Most of our players – although they don’t all play regularly – play at very good clubs at a very high level.

“They play in clubs with very important fixtures in the Champions League and the Premier League.

“It would take a pretty good club to come in and take them – or even afford them. The players command high transfer fees and high wages that clubs in other leagues can’t always afford to pay.”

He added: “But if you’re asking me would it be better for some of our players to be playing in good teams abroad rather than warming the bench, then of course, as a national team manager I would like to see that.

“Even as recently as five years ago, certainly 10 years ago, it would unthinkable for any England manager to pick a player who wasn’t the first name on his club’s teamsheet.

“Now more than half who start for us are certainly not the first names on the teamsheet. Sometimes they might not be a regular starter.

England Under-21s midfielder Josh McEachran warms up for training at St. George

England U21s midfielder Josh McEachran this week joined Vitesse Arnhem

“But that’s where we are with our league, where there is a predominance of foreign players, because of course the clubs can afford the best players.

“That could also occur later on in teams that are in Germany and Spain – who knows?

“Outside of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, there aren’t many clubs who can tempt players away from English clubs and there are a lot English clubs who can tempt away foreign players.”

This week England Under-21 midfielder Josh McEachran joined Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem on a season-long loan from Chelsea, and Hodgson believes others may soon follow suit.

“It is not my job to tell players what to do but if the opening was there for players to go abroad then a lot of them would take it”

Roy Hodgson 

He said: “It is not my job to tell players what to do but I would think that, if the opening was there for players to go abroad, then a lot of them would take it.

“Chelsea have a lot of young players and they send them to Vitesse Arnhem. Manchester City have a lot of farm clubs.

“In my days in Sweden, where the season runs from April to October, a lot of English players used to go out there and play in the summer. But that doesn’t seem to happen anymore.”

“National team managers would welcome anything that would protect their players from foreign player invasion but whether the Premier League or the Bundesliga will bring in rules that restrict foreigners then I’m not sure.”

Roy Hodgson’s England side return to action against on Norway at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday 3 September.

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