Keanan Bennetts will be joining Borussia Monchengladbach this summer, according to the Evening Standard. We are reportedly “relaxed” about the situation, and are just waiting to see what compensation we will get from the tribunal.
The England Under 19 international has performed well both in Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy this season but the left back/winger looks to have given up making the breakthrough with us. The Standard believe Under 18 goal machine Reo Griffiths is considering the exact same move, with Bundesliga clubs also on his trail.
The issue of talent drain to Germany isn’t restricted to us. In the summer, Jadon Sancho left City to join Borussia Dortmund while U17 World Cup Golden Boot winner Rhian Brewster is being tipped to make the same move as Bennetts by leaving Liverpool to join Gladbach.
However, the trend of young English talent leaving for abroad is a concern. We have been one of the best at bringing through youth players into the senior setup but the challenge of winning the Premier League makes this an ever more challenging endeavour.
To win the Premier League, you have to spend, there is no getting away from that. With the exception of the aberration that was Leicester’s title-winning season, the investment required to win the league requires multi-millions spent on recruitment.
You only have to look at Mauricio Pochettino’s most recent comments to see that he believes “risks” have to be made in the transfer market in order to compete against the likes of Manchester City. If we don’t, it seems we could be condemned to be perennial also-rans.
Where that leaves promising talent like Griffiths and even Kyle Walker-Peters, it is difficult to know. In some circumstances, patience is rewarded. The likes of Harry Kane, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose had a number of loan spells before establishing themselves in the starting line up.
With the club also seeking trophies, and with the manager advocating more spending, chances for younger players to come through the system and get their chances may become fewer and far between. For some youngsters, the offers from abroad where first-team football is more readily available, look far more attractive than sitting tight and waiting for a chance that may never come.
Hopefully, I am reading to much into Bennetts’ departure. After all, Walker-Peters and Carter-Vickers have both signed new deals in recent days. Yet, it does seem this club may start getting caught between the push to invest in the pursuit of trophies, and the utilisation of young talent that has got this team to where it is today.