Bundesliga clubs add more British talent on deadline day
BERLIN (AP) — Frustrated by lack of opportunities in the Premier League, the best of Britain’s young talent is turning to the Bundesliga for a chance to shine.
Following in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho, who has starred since joining Borussia Dortmund as a 17-year-old from Manchester City in August 2017, three other hotly tipped British youngsters joined German clubs before the end of the winter transfer window on Thursday.
It would have been one more if Bayern Munich had succeeded in signing the want-away Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea. The England Under-19 international was reportedly keen on the move to Bavaria after losing patience with his lack of opportunities under Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri, but the Premier League side refused to let its prized 18-year-old asset go.
Arsenal was also a reluctant trading partner, but it did let the 18-year-old Emile Smith-Rowe join Leipzig on loan for the rest of the season. Leipzig had been pushing for an option to make the attacking midfielder’s loan permanent but Arsenal refused.
Smith-Rowe, an England U19 international who usually plays on the left wing, scored three goals in six competitive appearances after making his Arsenal debut this season.
Also Thursday, struggling Augsburg signed 20-year-old defender Reece Oxford on loan from West Ham for the rest of the season. The English defender has Bundesliga experience already after loan stints at Borussia Moenchengladbach last season.
Oxford had failed to make any Premier League appearances on his return to West Ham this season.
On Wednesday, Schalke signed young Wales winger Rabbi Matondo from Man City, hopeful that he will have a similar impact to Sancho’s at bitter rival Dortmund.
Sancho, now 18, has six goals and 11 assists in 19 league appearances - most as a substitute - for Dortmund this season.
Kicker magazine reported that Schalke was paying 9 million euros ($10.3 million) for Matondo and that City secured an option to buy him back for a fee of 50 million euros ($57.1 million).
The Liverpool-born Matondo, who made his one and only appearance for Wales in a friendly against Albania in November, failed to break through to City’s senior squad despite praise from coach Pep Guardiola.
“We’ll give him the time that he needs to settle at Schalke and in the Bundesliga,” said coach Domenico Tedesco, whose side also signed Dutch central defender Jeffrey Bruma on loan from Wolfsburg to help cover a host of injuries.
In other noteworthy deals, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa turned down a move to Hannover to join Turkish side Besiktas on loan to the end of the season.
Eintracht Frankfurt was the busiest among the Bundesliga’s 18 clubs on Thursday with three new signings, all defenders.
Frankfurt, fifth and pushing for Champions League qualification, signed Almamy Toure from French struggler Monaco, Martin Hinteregger from league rival Augsburg and Brazilian defender Tuta from Sao Paulo.
The 22-year-old Toure and 19-year-old Tuta both signed deals through June 2023, while Austrian defender Hinteregger joined on loan after he had been suspended by Augsburg for criticizing its coach.
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