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Kane and Bellingham’s success shows why more English players should seek opportunities abroad

The Spanish media have already given Jude Bellingham a new nickname – ‘The Boss.’ The English midfielder has enjoyed a remarkable start to life as a Real Madrid player, scoring five goals in four games including late winners against Celta Vigo and Getafe. Bellingham has quickly embraced his role as a leader at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Harry Kane has done similar at Bayern Munich. Signed by the German champions to be the long-term successor to Robert Lewandowski, Kane has given Thomas Tuchel’s team the cutting edge it was previously lacking, scoring three goals in just three starts. The England captain already looks very comfortable in Germany.

Both players are benefiting for being open-minded. Traditionally, England’s best players stay in England. Kane was on course to beat Alan Shearer’s long-standing Premier League scoring record and most expected he stay long enough to overtake the former Newcastle United striker. Instead, he decided to accept a new challenge in the Bundesliga.

“The Harry Kane effect will not evaporate,” said Tuchel after Kane’s arrival at Bayern Munich in the summer window. “[His influence] works on so many levels that you cannot realise because you do not witness it daily. [He is important] in the changing room, on the pitch, [because of] his character, his professionalism, how hard he trains, [and] how after the defeat he was first on the pitch for training with the reserves.”

Bellingham is also known for his natural leadership skills with the 20-year-old’s character coming through in his Real Madrid performances. The Englishman has also been a key part of his Carlo Ancelotti has compensated for the loss of Karim Benzema with Benzema deployed in behind a front two of Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior.

“He can score 15 goals without a problem,” said Ancelotti when asked about Bellingham’s ability as an attacker. “He stands out because he moves very well without the ball. This is the main quality of him. He breaks lines, has a great movement, constant, that’s why he scores so many goals. He was very calm, very focused. He really wanted to play here, but I have seen him very calm, very focused on the game.”

Bellingham and Kane will meet up with the England squad this week as two of only three players currently playing their club football abroad (Fikayo Tomori being the other one at AC Milan). Their early success at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich respectively proves more English players should open their mind to opportunities outside of the Premier League.

Technically and culturally, Bellingham is a more rounded player because of his willingness to experience new leagues. In the Bundesliga, he had to operate in a transition-heavy league for Borussia Dortmund with the 20-year-old’s decision making sharper for his experiences there. In La Liga, Bellingham is being asked to play in a more possession-orientated division. His ability on the ball will improve.

Kane might not change much as a player at Bayern Munich, but the superior quality of the players around him could push him to an even higher level. The England captain has been pushed out of his comfort zone and that could force him to add even more to his skill set as an all-round centre forward in Tuchel’s team.

The Premier League might be the best and most lucrative league in the world at the moment, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to reach the elite level of the sport elsewhere. Bellingham and Kane have set a precedent for others within the England squad. Others should look to follow their lead.

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