By 90Min
March 12, 2018

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has urged more English players to test themselves abroad and experience football in other countries, arguing that it will have a beneficial effect on the national team as has been the case with Spain in the past.

Spain's Euro 2008 winning squad had five players based in the Premier League, while three were based outside La Liga for the World Cup in 2010 and four for Euro 2012.


England, on the other hand have not selected anyone playing abroad for a major tournament since David Beckham (Real Madrid) and Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich) in 2006, the result of a lack of Englishmen plying their trade on foreign shores.

"When they came back into the national team, they were stronger. They were better," Guardiola is quoted as saying by BBC Sport in reference to players like Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Santi Cazorla from Spain's victorious squads.

"They did very good things that helped Spanish football. Could that benefit the England team? I think that's true. I think it's a good experience to move to another country and see different realities to your own," he added.

Generally, English players over the years have preferred to stay at home, even if that means playing at a lower level. Daniel Sturridge, for example, wound up at relegation stricken West Brom in January despite being a rumoured target for Sevilla and Inter Milan.

Jadon Sancho joined Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City in summer, while Ademola Lookman and Reece Oxford are on loan at RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach respectively. But Guardiola wonders if the money available in England is a current reason that more established players are choosing to stay rather than test themselves.

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"I think the Premier League is a wealthy league and maybe the English players prefer to stay," he said. "For me, the most important thing is to make the second-team (Under-23) league stronger. Without that, it will be tough for the English national teams. That is my personal view."

Explaining his transfer to Dortmund, 17-year-old Sancho said, "A lot of young players come to Dortmund and become top, top players. I thought to myself, 'Wow, that could be me'. I want to be part of that history.

"They're proving, by the games I've played, that age doesn't matter - they'll play you if you're good enough."

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