With football truly the world game, players of all nationalities can end up plying their trade in foreign lands – it is now the norm rather than the exception, especially in the Premier League.
Although English football’s top-tier is littered with stars originating from the four corners of the globe, it is less common for British players to move outwith the UK and seek challenges in Europe or elsewhere.
Over the years the likes of Kevin Keegan, Ian Rush and Paul Gascoigne have all headed to the continent, while Gareth Bale set a new world record transfer fee after moving to Real Madrid last summer.
However, with all the members of Roy Hodgson’s last England squad employed by Premier League clubs, it shows a lack of willingness for homegrown stars to experience other cultures and further their footballing careers outside of the UK.
With Europe’s top teams such as Spain, Italy, France and world champions Germany all having sizeable numbers of key stars playing abroad, there is a sentiment to suggest that the English national game is struggling due to the absence of players improving in contrasting club environments.
Two young English players that look to have the ability to potentially represent the Three Lions in the future seemingly have the option to move overseas in the summer.
Ravel Morrison has been released by West Ham and is reported to have signed a pre-contract agreement with Italian side Lazio ahead of a a summer move to Rome, while in-demand Danny Ings is supposedly a major target for David Moyes’ Real Sociedad.
In the case of Morrison, it appears that a move abroad may well be his only choice after exhausting his options at home.
A mercurial talent and highly praised by Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson, the attacking midfielder was huckled out of Old Trafford due to a questionable attitude, repeated disciplinary issues and issues off the field.
At West Ham Morrison showed signs that his substantial promise could well be reached, but his stellar showings in the Hammers starting XI were all too few compared to his unmanageable persona away from the game.
With the Premier League side releasing the former England under-21 man, Morrison is said to have penned a deal to move to the Stadio Olimpico in June.
This fresh start is much needed and clearly will be a defining moment in the 22-year-old’s career – from a positive or negative perspective.
Away from the prying eyes of the English media and in a completely new climate, Morrison would be best advised to take on board a new culture and a different way of playing the beautiful game.
The midfielder’s ability and raw talent have never been in doubt; getting the tactical nous that Serie A football can offer could see Morrison reach new heights.
However, in a foreign land with plenty of distractions, there is also the potential for disaster to happen; most football purists however will hope that the gifted playmaker proves his doubters wrong and thrives at Lazio.
Ings meanwhile has continued his impressive goalscoring form that took The Championship by storm last season and replicated it in Burnley’s Premier League campaign.
Out of contract at the culmination of the 2014-15 campaign, the hotshot striker is all-but certain to leave Turf Moor in the summer for a new challenge at a bigger club.
Despite reported interest from Liverpool and Tottenham, Real Sociedad are believed to be serious suitors of the striker, with the potential for the uncapped Englishman to move to Anoeta.
The sad reality of the situation is that most likely Ings will opt for a switch to Anfield or White Hart Lane, with the allure of playing for a top-six English side engrained into home-grown youngsters as the mecca of the professional game in the country.
Getting the chance to play in La Liga, diversify his experiences both on and off the pitch and subsequently blossom in a foreign land is an excellent opportunity, but most players do not turn the likes of Liverpool down.
It is questionable whether Ings would thrive more in Basque Country or Merseyside, but the likelihood of limited playing time at Anfield seems significant given the presence of Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and others.
Although Sociedad may well have Carlos Vela, the exciting Alfreð Finnbogason and their own share of attackers, Ings would surely take a lot out of a move to Spain and playing in the technically orientated La Liga side.
However, the Burnley man will more than likely opt for the safe option and the chance to move domestically rather than overseas.
A switch to Liverpool or Spurs would be a good opportunity for Ings personally, but maybe the collective mindset of English players to stay at home is indicative of why the national side is hampered by severe limitations.