Zorc: England has overtaken Germany on youth development
Written by Simon Austin — February 8, 2019
BORUSSIA DORTMUND Technical Director Michael Zorc admits England has overtaken Germany when it comes to youth development.
Zorc, 56, was responsible for bringing winger Jadon Sancho to Dortmund from Manchester City in August 2017. Although the teenager had never made a matchday squad for City, he has gone on to become a mainstay for the German team and is now a full England international.
"Let's go back say five to 10 years - there was a time that English clubs signed German players and had a team of scouts to do that," Zorc said.
"There was a lot of discussion here - 'It's all about money, it's too early for them to go from Germany to England'. But in the meantime we have the feeling that, yes, the education and development of youth players in the English Academies is quite good, to be honest.
“You know the English teams are reaching Under-17, Under-19 [finals] compared to the German ones. It seems to me that they overtook us.
"The teams don't only spend much money on transfers or salaries but also on infrastructure. When you see these youth academies - for example Man City - you can't compare it with the German standard. It's much higher, much higher.
"It seems to me that it's something like a business model for them because even if they don't succeed in their own teams they sell them for higher prices. I just read a figure of Man City - I think they've sold young players for more than €150m within the last three to five years."
Zorc added he was not surprised that Sancho had become a star with Dortmund - more with the speed at which this had happened.
”I haven't been surprised by his performances, but with how fast he managed to get to this senior level, because before that he only played on youth teams,” he said.
"Also the stability of his performances: he played nearly every game for us last autumn, always at a high level, but he could still play [have eligibility] in our Under-19 team. That is unbelievable to me.”