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Homegrown Arsenal Midfielder on Radar of European Giants

The last few seasons have seen a new trend for young British players to leave the big English sides in search of first team football on the continent.

Ben Cottrell, considered the next big thing at Arsenal, could be the latest such departure.

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Cottrell has shone at the centre of Arsenal’s Under-18s team this season, with a host of Man of the Match displays, and a talent and silky style that far surpasses his years.

Having worked his way through the Arsenal academy from the age of nine, Cottrell was being billed as a future star of Arsenal’s midfield, but according to reports in The Sun, he may never fulfil that role.

Instead, the likes of Borussia Dortmund or Marseille may well swoop in and take Cottrell away from the Gunners, with the enticing promise of first-team football at the highest level.

If Cottrell did depart North London, he would surely see the stories of fellow English youth prospects like Jadon Sancho as inspiration.

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Sancho left Manchester City in the summer and moved to Borussia Dortmund, where he has carved out a first-team place, put on multiple match-winning displays and even earned an England call-up.

The trend for England youth prospects moving abroad has certainly ramped up in the last few seasons — players from the likes of Chelsea, Man City and Spurs who had seen their opportunities for breaking into the first team limited, have made the jump to Europe, with varying degrees of success.

The recent tournament wins from England’s Youth teams has also surely played a part: young players with tournament success are going to be far more desirable to the bigger European clubs.

Whether Ben Cottrell will join Sancho, Jonathan Panzo, Keanan Bennets and others in swapping the Premier League for Europe remains to be seen, but with a clear path already carved out, the prospect is much more likely than ever before.

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