James Keene: The Only Englishman Playing Champions League and Europa League Football Overseas
HOW many English footballers representing non-British clubs have played in the group stages of this season’s Champions League and Europa League? In all, 37 English players have played a part in those matches.
To give you a few clues: 106 Brazilians have played in the two tournaments this season; 52 Spanish players have played for non-Spanish clubs; and 45 French players for non-French clubs. So. How many English players made the move to experience life and football overseas? And, no, Scotland is not abroad, so Celtic’s Fraser Forster doesn’t count. Same with Swansea City, which means its contingent of four English players is barred.
The answer is…one.
He’s James Keene, a 27-year-old with Sweden’s Elfsborg.
And that’s interesting when you consider that Football Association chairman Greg Dyke wants the commission a report into the falling number of English players in the Premier League.
Former QPR and England player Trevor Sinclair says:
The number of overseas players is absolutely the reason why there are less English players coming through. The FA, the Premier League, the clubs – they all have something to answer for.
Balls. The failure is a cultural one? Who wants the chance to work abroad doing a job you love? Only one Englishman does…