Mancienne: Germany leave England behind on youth
Written by Simon Austin — September 28, 2017
MICHAEL MANCIENNE thinks Germany are much more successful on the international stage than England because their clubs “would rather push through a youngster with potential than make a signing”.
The 29-year-old defender left Chelsea for Hamburg in 2011 after making just four league appearances. After three years in Germany, he joined Nottingham Forest and has been a mainstay of the East Midlanders' side during a turbulent period in their history.
“The big thing I noticed in Germany is that teams would rather push through a youngster with potential than make a signing,” he told the Telegraph. “That is why their national team does so well and, maybe, why England doesn’t.
"I don’t think there is one player from the Academy in or around my age group that is still there. Ryan Bertrand, Jack Cork and Sam Hutchinson have all left, and Liam Bridcutt is with me now at Forest. I had to make a decision because I wanted to make a name for myself and play games.
“I was in the comfort zone at Chelsea and it is easy for players to rot away in that environment. When you’re at a big club you can easily get caught in a bubble because everything is done for you. There are so many people doing things for you that when you go out on loan you’re thrown into real life.
“I was 21 when I made my debut and it was great moment. I thought it would be the time when I kicked on but there were too many players in front of me, many of them captains for their countries.
"The likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Joe Cole were the best role models to have, and seeing people like John break into the first team obviously gave you that hope and desire to do the same thing."
A Uefa report, published in January, found that the Premier League had the highest number of foreign-born players of any league in Europe - 69.2%. The Bundesliga came ninth, with 49.2% of their players being foreign-born.
Kaylen Hinds, Jadon Sancho and Reece Oxford all followed Mancienne's lead in moving to Germany this summer.
“I will never regret the decision to play there [Germany]," Mancienne said. "I would recommend it to anyone, I loved it abroad and you learn a lot about yourself. It makes you stronger, being away from your family and friends.”