English Players Abroad – Episode 9

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Let’s face it, we’re all pretty depressed about the lack of football due to the c-word.

No one really knows what’s going to happen with league resumptions around Europe, but one of the very real possibilities is that the season could already be done.

If this really is it, then let’s – hypothetically – rate the campaigns of our Englishmen in Europe…


Portugal

Levi Lumeka (£0.38), Varzim

9/10

Levi Lumeka had only played 32 minutes of senior football prior to this season.

So, like many other English youngsters, the 21-year-old moved to Portugal to find the elusive pitch time he couldn’t find at home.

And his decision to join Varzim – through his own dedication and ability – has proven to be an inspired one.

He has far surpassed expectations and even scored in four consecutive games – taking home the Liga Pro player of the month award for December.

He surely won’t be playing in Portugal’s second division for much longer, so his current price of £0.38 could appreciate healthily.

Marcus Edwards (£0.95), Vitoria SC

8/10

Similarly to Lumeka, Marcus Edwards had struggled to get game time while with Tottenham – despite being labeled a ‘mini-Messi’ by ex-boss Mauricio Pochettino.

But that’s not been the case this campaign, as he has racked up 27 appearances in all competitions for SC Vitoria of Portugal’s Primeira Liga, who he joined on a four-year deal last September.

And in those appearances, the former England youth international notched a very respectable six goals and seven assists.

He had helped propel his club to within reach of European qualification, and he will no doubt be frustrated to miss the highlight of playing at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz, if the fixture postponements endure.

His value has increased by 86% in the last six months, and that trajectory is likely to continue.


Belgium

Jonathan Panzo (£0.67), Cercle Brugge (on loan from AS Monaco)

7/10

Arriving in Belgium from AS Monaco last summer, Jonathan Panzo wasted no time in getting himself into the Cercle Brugge first XI, playing the full 90 minutes in 10 of 11 games between September and December.

But he has only featured in two wins of his 17 appearances, which admittedly is not purely a feature of his performances, but rather a limited Cercle side that have the second-bluntest attack in the Belgian top flight.

Nonetheless, with nearly 1,500 more senior minutes under his belt – and his first call-ups to the England under-21 squad – the 19-year-old can reflect on a good developmental year.


Kemar Roofe (£0.38), Anderlecht

7/10

What might’ve been for Kemar Roofe?

He was an instant hit in Belgium after his move from Leeds, scoring six times in his first eleven league matches for Anderlecht, before missing the next eight due to a calf injury.

If he can return to fitness then he could light up the Belgian Pro League next season.


France

Stephy Mavididi (£0.91), Dijon (on loan from Juventus)

7/10

With close to 1,800 minutes under his belt for Dijon in Ligue 1 this year, Stephy Mavididi’s decision to alight in Eastern France has been vindicated.

He has been largely a regular and has registered eight goals and two assists in all competitions.

Big decisions loom now for the ex-Gunner, who was mentored by Thierry Henry when in North London. 

Firstly, will he stay with Les Moutardes next term, or return to Juventus? The latter is his preferred option, but will he get in the Old Lady’s squad?

And will he pledge his international allegiance to England or DR Congo, with the latter pursuing him strongly?


Germany

Jadon Sancho (£10.06), Borussia Dortmund

9/10

The only reason it’s not a 10 is Jadon Sancho’s performances in the Champions League, where he only registered two goals and two assists in eight outings, and none in the round of 16 tie against PSG.

Aside from that, it’s been a truly remarkable season for the 19-year-old in the Bundesliga, with 14 goals and 16 assists to his name – oh, and a £10.06 Share Price on the Index to boot…

It’s a devastating blow that he most likely won’t have the chance to light up the Euros in the summer.

But with continued speculation about a move back to England, he should generate good Media Dividend returns for Traders.

Jonjoe Kenny (£0.64), Schalke (on loan from Everton)

7/10

Described by Schalke boss David Wagner as one of his signings of the season, Jonjoe Kenny faces a tough choice ahead.

Stay with Schalke and get regular action in a top-half Bundesliga side, or head back to his parent club Everton and fight for a right-back slot with Seamus Coleman and Djibril Sidibe?

With Schalke unlikely to be able to afford his salary and transfer fee, it might be out of his hands…

Nathaniel Phillips (£0.46), VFB Stuttgart (on loan from Liverpool)

9/10

A year challenging for a league title in Germany, interspersed with a first appearance for parent club Liverpool in the FA Cup – not a bad year for Nathaniel Phillips.

The 22-year-old faces a lot of competition to find a spot in the Anfield backline, and given how much he is known to have benefited from his stint in Stuttgart, he may well find himself back there next term – this time possibly in the German top-flight if Stuttgart are awarded promotion.

At just £0.46, he’s worth keeping an eye on.


Spain

Kieran Trippier (£0.67), Atletico Madrid

8/10

Aside from five fixtures missed in January and February with a groin strain, Kieran Trippier has been an ever-present in Diego Simeone’s back four, which is no mean feat when you are learning El Cholo’s tactical systems, mastering a new language and keeping Croatian international Sime Vrsaljko out of the team at the same time.

The move to Spain seems to have reinvigorated the ex-Spurs full-back, and it would’ve been fascinating to see whether he would’ve made Gareth Southgate’s starting XI for the Euros.


Italy

Ronaldo Vieira (£0.68), Sampdoria

7/10

It might not have been Samp’s finest Serie A campaign, but for Ronaldo Vieira individually, he has been impressive in holding down a central midfield slot at just 21-years-old.

So much so that he was linked with West Ham in January, and come the summer there may be more English suitors in for him, particularly given his 71 appearances for Leeds prior to his Italian move.

Chris Smalling (£0.66), AS Roma (on loan from Manchester United)

8/10

Chris Smalling’s loan move to Roma can really only be qualified as a resounding success.

The 30-year-old has settled better than many other English exports have in Italy, and with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemingly set on Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof as his centre-back pairing, Smalling may be set for a long spell under Paulo Fonseca.


And Finally….

A number of other Englishmen spent all or part of their seasons with European clubs, but together they only made a handful of outings.

We, therefore, haven’t rated them, but here are our thoughts on their futures:

Ademola Lookman (£0.99), RB Leipzig: Weighing up his international allegiance and weighing up his options at Leipzig after just six appearances this term; the summer promises some big decisions for the 22-year-old.

Xavier Amaechi (£0.76), Hamburger SV: The 19-year-old had just made the Hamburg squad again in recent weeks after a long injury lay-off, so the fixture ban is bad timing. Needs top-flight matches to realise his potential.

Keanan Bennetts (£0.63), Borussia Monchengladbach: Understood to have returned to the first-team picture in recent weeks, could the ex-Spurs forward break out like Sancho in 2020/21?

Bobby Duncan (£1.09), Fiorentina: Put in some good displays for Fiorentina’s under-19 side of late, but he wants more than that. Likely to move back to England in the summer, which could see his current price of £1.09 rise significantly.

Omar Bogle (£0.18), ADO Den Haag: Only joined Alan Pardew’s side on 31 January, but opened his account in just his third appearance. Whichever way Den Haag’s relegation fight goes may determine his future.

Ashley Young (£0.49), Inter Milan: Declared he was loving life in Italy after moving from Manchester United. Set to play a big part for Antonio Conte’s men as they seek to wrestle the Scudetto off Juventus in the coming years.

George McEachran (£0.64), SC Cambuur: Another for whom the break comes at an inopportune moment. The Chelsea loanee only arrived in Holland at the end of January, in a move that had been agreed until the end of the season. He will likely return to West London and assess his options.

Reece Oxford (£0.41), Augsburg: A loan further down the German pyramid was mooted for Oxford in January. Has made eight Bundesliga appearances but none since 3 November. A summer move looks likely.

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Social Media Executive @ Football Index - Liverpool fan at just about the right time

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