The coaching environment is also radically different, says Martin.
“It was a style that fits everyone, and with a million miles he wasted more talent than he found,” he says. “We lost so many boys that needed a little more support. You would see and hear things that you might be complaining about right now. As coaches, we adapt to our players instead of adapting the players to our way of doing things. “
The players themselves are also more open to new experiences.
“It worked wonders for Jordan (Sancho) and Jamal (Musiala),” he said. “The period between U18 and senior citizens is difficult. Would you play regularly if you stayed in the Premier League? Sancho broke the mold and Germany is the right place now.
“The boys get play time. The German clubs are happy because the players are technically better and the potential is being sold on. It works for everyone. “
There is one significant caveat, however. Brexit means that under 18s cannot play abroad unless they have an alternative European citizenship. That would mean that Sanchos and Bellingham’s Bundesliga changes would have had to wait. Some countries also have strict restrictions on players from non-EU countries over the age of 18. Others insist that they earn a minimum salary or that they must be subject to a 90-day visiting visa.
“For a couple of years before Brexit, you saw an outflow of talent into Europe,” Jennings said. “That has all changed. You have to do justice to the working conditions of the countries you are traveling to, so I think it will stall with the exception of a few. “
And is that bad? Jennings says it depends on the individual but has found that it is invariably enriching. “It’s not always the easiest, but you will generally come back as a more rounded player and person.” As for the broader international background, there are good reasons to believe that something like a golden age is possible.
For the old question Jimmy Hill asked back in 1993: ‘Is there a market for young British players abroad?’ – now clearly has a completely different answer.