Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham are included in bwin’s list of the best British players playing their football outside of England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.
Unlike most other countries, the majority of England’s national team is made up of players playing in the Premier League, so much so that Gareth Southgate’s 2022 World Cup squad only had one player not playing in England’s top flight, the aforementioned Bellingham.
However, there are still some incredibly talented players, like Bellingham and Kane, who are playing their football outside of England right now, and thriving whilst doing so.
The best Brits playing abroad
We kick our list off with Harry Kane, who in the eyes of many, may actually be the best Englishman playing right now.
Kane quit Tottenham to join Bayern Munich in the summer, feeling that he had to leave the North London club to play regular Champions League football and compete for the highest honours.
The striker gave up the opportunity to overtake Alan Shearer as the person with the most Premier League goals in history, a record he’d likely have taken if he remained with Tottenham, to join the German giants in the summer, and he’s done incredibly well since moving to the club.
In his first 20 Bundesliga games, Kane has scored a staggering 24 goals and provided a further five assists, leaving him with an average of a goal or assist every 80 minutes, showing just how good the Englishman is.
There’s a very real chance that Kane ends the season with the major trophy of his career, which he’ll be hoping sets up him for victory with his country at the 2024 Euros.
If Kane does help England win the European Championship this summer, he’ll need some help from Bellingham.
The midfielder has also had an incredible start to life in Spain with Real Madrid following his move from Borussia Dortmund, playing mainly as an attacking midfielder, which not many fans saw coming.
Bellingham is going to be a top, top player for years to come, there’s simply no denying that, but he’s already one of the best in his position in the world right now, despite still only being 20.
Real Madrid’s new number five, in his first 28 games, has found the back of the net 18 times, and popped up with a further eight assist. He’s averaging a goal or assist every 96 minutes, as of February 7, which is frankly unheard of for a midfielder playing at the biggest club in the world.
Bellingham is a one-in-a-million talent, and he deserves to be acknowledged as such.
Eyebrows were raised when Chelsea sold Fikayo Tomori to AC Milan back in 2021, and how the Blues are crying out for someone of his quality in their backline this season.
The defender was part of the incredible AC Milan side who won the Serie A in 2022, their first league title in 11 years, and some feel that the only reason he isn’t a regular in the England side is because he isn’t playing his football in the Premier League.
However, Tomori is a top defender, and Southgate could do a lot worse than pairing him with John Stones at the centre of his backline ahead of the 2024 European Championshjp.
Our first (and only) non-Englishman on this list is Kieran Tierney, who while still contract to Arsenal, is playing his club football this season with Real Sociedad.
The Scotsman is a talented left-back, and he showed that during his time with Arsenal and Celtic, but how great Tierney becomes will really depend on his fitness issues, which have plagued his career thus far.
Tierney has played 16 games during his time in Spain thus far, missing ten due to injury. If he can remain fit, there’s no reason the 26-year-old can’t become a valuable member of Arsenal’s squad upon his return.
Henderson may not be the player he was when Liverpool won the Premier League in 2020, but the Englishman is still a valued member of Southgate’s squad, both on the pitch and in the dressing room.
The former Liverpool captain quit the Reds to join Saudi Arabian side Al Ettifaq in the summer, but after a nightmare few months, left to join Ajax in the Eredivise, keen to remain in the England squad ahead of this summer’s tournament.
Henderson’s leadership will be a big addition to the relatively young Ajax side who have struggled this season, with the midfielder hoping to remind fans that he still has a lot to offer on the biggest stage.
Another ex-Chelsea Englishman now playing his football for AC Milan is Ruben Lofus-Cheek, who left England to join the Italian giants in the summer.
He’s done pretty well since arriving in Italy too, playing 24 games for Milan, scoring five goals and providing a further two assists.
While it’s unlikely he makes it on the plane to Germany with England for the Euros, the midfielder definitely deserves a shoutout for his performances.
Sancho is looking to get his career back on track now that he’s back playing for Borussia Dortmund after a nightmare spell at Manchester United.
After a falling out with Erik ten Hag, Sancho was excluded completely from the United squad, and he’s already played just as many games in the Bundesliga this season (three) as he has in the Premier League, despite only arriving on loan at Dortmund last month.
He’s also popped up with two assists in his first three games back in Germany, proving that despite things really not going his way since joining the Premier League, there’s very much still a top player in there who has a lot to offer.
Chris Smalling, or ‘Smalldini’, as he’s affectionately known, has been a great servant for Roma since joining the club from Man United initially on loan in 2019, and then permanently the following year.
The defender, who has 31 caps for the England national team, has played over 100 games in Italy since leaving England, proving himself to be a valued member of the side during that period.
He’s not expected to get back into the England squad, but Smalling’s performances outside of England over the past few years definitely deserve some recognition.
Another Englishman playing for Roma currently is Tammy Abraham, who joined Italy from Chelsea in 2021, and has since played 75 domestic league games, scoring an impressive 25 goals.
Unfortunately, Tammy is out with a major knee injury, and he’s unlikely to feature for his club this season, which will almost definitely rule him out of Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2024.
bwin currently has England as the joint-favourites to win Euro 2024, with odds of 7/2 at the time of writing.