England’s teenage football stars are the best in the world, according to Borussia Monchengladbach chief Max Eberl.
A number of Three Lions youngsters have gone to the Bundesliga to hone their craft and the nation’s Under-20s are world champions.
Jadon Sancho, 17, plays for Borussia Dortmund, Reece Oxford, 18, is at Monchengladbach and Arsenal’s 19-year-old midfielder Kaylen Hinds plays for Wolfsburg.
Sporting director Eberl crunches the numbers to see how players are performing.
And he told the Times how he has been blown away by the skills on show in the youngsters.
Eberl said: “We follow every English national game – under-16, under-17 and so on – and we know every top player in England.
“They develop great players. That age group [born in] 2000 in England, you could take every player. It’s unbelievable.
“They will perhaps win the Under-17 World Cup in India this month.
“That age group of 1999-2000-2001, there are a lot of top English players.
“For me, they’re the best in the world in that age group.”
And Eberl voiced the opinion of many who say top English clubs should look at their academies for the next big star instead of paying inflated transfer fees.
He added: “They are developing great young players in England.
“But normally the player has no chance to be in the first XI or even the first 18 of a Premier League team. English clubs, they will buy another player.
“They have a top player in their academy, but they will buy another who is two years older and has played two years in the first team in France or somewhere else.
“Sometimes it looks like the transfer market is a competition in itself. They don’t look to their own academy.
“So what is the next step for these young players? We want to be able to say, ‘We can be the next step for you.’
“Reece and Jadon could be the example for the next guys. And I am starting to feel it a lot because a lot of English agents called us and said, ‘Hey, our player wants to come and play in the Bundesliga.’”