“It’s impossible not to think or dream about lifting the World Cup. It’s the biggest competition in the world and for me it’s going to be a massive dream to play in it,” England’s newly named Captain Harry Kane said when asked if he would love to win the illusive competition. The Captain goes on to speak about England’s possibilities to win the Cup, saying that he would not count out the Three Lions because “anyone can [win].”
Every team *should* go to the World Cup to win and Gareth Southgate and his men are doing just that, even with a bad track record as of late. The Three Lions struggled in Euro 2016, going out to Iceland in the Round of 16, but that squad was two years away from having their stars of now blossoming and a coach away from being true contenders.
Even with England’s player and personnel improvement, they aren’t the favorites to win a major tournament. However this isn’t true for their youth sides. Their Under-17s won the 2017 FIFA Under-17s World Cup in 2017 and their Under-20s winning the FIFA Under-20s World Cup in 2017 as well. That two back to back youth trophies in the same year in two different age brackets. England has started to produce brilliant young players. But, these youngsters have yet to grab a chance in the Premier League since the influx of TV money and foreign influence on the league have led clubs to buy before promote from within.
So what do these Englishmen do in order to not stagnate? They go where they’ll play, and right now that is in the German Bundesliga. Jadon Sancho, Reece Oxford, Ademola Lookman, Mandela Egbo, and the newest of the bunch, Keanan Bennetts. Trailblazers of the English system.
Sancho and Lookman have gotten the chances they deserved at Dortmund and Leipzig, respectively, and both have shown real quality in their appearances. Oxford and Egbo have had a little more of a struggle, with the former only appearing 11 times from Monchenglabach and latter playing most of the season in Gladbach’s youth team. But, there is a clearly path to the first team shown to these youngster, something that has lacked tremendously in the Premier League for a long time.
With England less than likely to make it past quarter-finals, the Three Lions should recognize their English compatriots who are competing in the German league and hope that the German National Team can win the World Cup in order to keep building the German game.
Most of Germany’s side is composed of the best in the Bundesliga, with only 7 of the likely final 23 playing in a different country, all of which got their start on home soil. So, Germany showing consistency on the world stage with players from their own league in turn leaves this crop of English talent, arguably, getting the best development in the world.
The Bundesliga has turned into this hotbed of young talent who have the potential to develop into world-class players. USA international Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and John Brooks are in a similar situation as these English players because of the MLS standards are yet quite up to par with the rest of European football, and have developed well so far in the Bundesliga. England will fight tooth and nail for glory this summer and they might well come out on top. But, in the scenario where they don’t, Deutscheland is the promise land.