Tammy Abraham: Another Brit in Germany?

Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham is reportedly being lined up by German team RB Leipzig for a £20m move.

The 21-year-old has been on loan at Championship outfit Aston Villa this season, where he’s notched up a very impressive 21 goals in 29 games.

This news hardly comes as a surprise for multiple reasons. It is another example of a Chelsea loanee performing very well elsewhere, but seemingly having no chance of breaking into the first team. Abraham has also had a successful loan spell at Bristol City in recent years, scoring 23 times in 41 games. As well as this, he has made 41 appearances for England youth teams, scoring 15 times.

The other reason this transfer news it not particularly surprising is the upturn in English youngsters heading to Germany for competitive first team football at a high standard.

It is quite a compliment to Abraham that RBL are looking to sign him, as their highly sought after striker Timo Werner looks increasingly as if he will be on his way out in the summer.

Of course, the most notable is Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, who decided at the age of 17 that he was ready for first team football. He knew he wouldn’t find it at Manchester City, so he took the incredibly brave decision to leave his family and friends behind and move to Germany.

Sancho signed for Dortmund on 31st August 2017 for a reported fee of £8m. He was instantly placed in the first team squad. He made his debut from the bench less than two months later against Eintracht Frankfurt, becoming the first Englishman to play in theBundesliga for Dortmund.

It took until January for Sancho to be given his first league start, at the end of the 2017/2018 season, he signed a deal keeping at the club until 2022. This investment has paid dividends for Dortmund, as Sancho has now rocked up nine goals and 11 assists. He was also named Bundesliga player of the month for October and has become a key player for the team top of the Bundesliga.

Jadon Sancho is now being seriously linked with a £100m move to Manchester United, with other top teams also sniffing around. If this transfer were to materialise, it would be a stroke of financial genius from Borussia Dortmund.

Another slightly less publicised example of a young English player in the Bundesliga is Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson. The 19-year-old is currently on loan at Hoffenheim, and although not as successful as Sancho, is playing more football than he would have done in England. He’s made 15 appearances for Die Kraichgauer, scoring six times. Nelson scored fourteen minutes after coming off the bench for his debut against Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Everton’s Ademola Lookman had a short stint at Tammy Abraham’s potential new club Red Bull Leipzig. He joined on loan in the January of the 2017/18 season, scoring five times in 11 appearances.

Many of these English youngsters are friends, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that they all feel there is more competitive football to be played in Germany, at clubs where they can be a key player. Chelsea’s Callum Hudson Odoi very nearly moved to Bayern Munich in January, because it is obvious to everyone except Maurizio Sari that he is ready to be a first team player for a quality team.

It’s not just Germany that is becoming popular with English youngsters. Last night, Watford’s Ben Wilmot made his debut for Serie A side Udinese in a 4-1 defeat to reigning champions Juventus.

It could be a very positive trend for the England National team, with youngsters gaining first team experience and maturity earlier in their careers.

Euan Burns//@burns_euan

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