Ditching Premier League: Five British Youngsters who are playing abroad


British footballers are not well-known for playing abroad, particularly youngsters unless they fail to impress at youth level. However, since the surprise move of Joe Hart to Serie A outfit Torino, we went through the list of British players who have plied their trades elsewhere.

The veterans like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole have switched to Major League Soccer before hanging up their boots, whereas, Jarmaine Pennant and Michael Chopra, who once achieved cult success in Premier League, are enjoying their football in Asia: Pennant with S League outfit Tampines Rovers and Michael Chopra has returned to Kerala Blasters since the inaugural campaign of Indian Super League.

Among these names, there are a few who moved outside Britain at very young age and currently playing abroad. Here are five of them:

5. Ravel Morrison:

The former Manchester United academy graduate was highly rated in his country. The 23 year old Englishman represented England in several youth ranks but failed to make an impact in English football mostly due to controversies and attitude problems. Before joining Serie A outfit Lazio last year on a free transfer, he tried his luck with West Ham United, Cardiff City, Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham City. The once highly rated midfielder have made only 8 appearances last season for the Serie A side and is yet to feature in this campaign. He has reportedly been looking for another switch in order to have more game-time elsewhere.

4. Ryan Gauld:

The Scottish U-21 international made a switch to Portuguese outfit Sporting CP at the age of 18 from Scottish Premier League side Dundee United for a fee in the region of  £3 million. However, he struggled to find a regular place in their senior squad having appeared only twice in Primeira Liga and mostly played for their reserves. On 20 July 2016, amidst interest from England’s Sheffield Wednesday, Gauld was loaned to top flight Portuguese side Vitoria FC and made his first top division appearance in 20 months as a late substitute against league giants FC Porto last Saturday.

3. Jack Harrison:

The former Liverpool and Manchester United academy star Jack Harrison made an odd switch of his career by joining Manhattan Soccer Club USA at the age of 16. After spending his college career with Wake Forest he was picked up by giants New York City FC via 2016 MLS SuperDraft and has been regular in their senior side since then alongside the likes of Andrea Pirlo, David Villa and fellow countryman Frank Lampard. The 19 year old winger has made 22 appearances for New York City FC and netted four times in all competitions.

2. Andre Wisdom:

The 23 year old English defender made 12 Premier League appearances in 2012-13 campaign for Liverpool in Brendan Rodgers’ first season in charge. He was then loaned to several English sides like Derby County, West Brom and Norwich City but failed to earn a place in Jurgen Klopp’s squad. He has been loaned again for this campaign, this time to Austrian Football Bundesliga outfit FC Red Bull Salzburg.

1.  Olivier Burke:

The 19 year old right winger took a valiant decision by rejecting approaches from several top flight Premier League sides and joining newly promoted Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig for £13 million, which set a new record for a transfer involving a Scottish player after impressing with Championship side Nottingham Forest. Burke has appeared four times and netted once for Leipzig who are currently second in the Bundesliga table behind Bayern Munich.

Special Mention:

Lewis Baker: The highly-rated Chelsea midfielder was loaned to Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons before joining Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem on a season-long loan deal. However, his loan spell was extended for the 2016-17 campaign and the England U-21 international has been impressive so far with 12 goals in 47 appearances for the Eredivise side.




Photo by Ben Sutherland