English clubs stifle young French talent, says Blanc

Laurent Blanc, the coach of France and a former Manchester United player, believes that promising teenagers should think twice before joining a big club in the Premier League, as it may just lead to years on the bench.



French football's renowned youth system has seen a factory-line of players leaving the country at young ages to join big teams, considerably weakening the domestic league because clubs often lose their brightest prospects for little money.

Rather than gaining a few years' experience at home, many young starlets are offered lucrative deals abroad, often in the Premier League, where some have drifted into obscurity or never truly lived up to their potential.

It is a situation that concerns Blanc, who fears that players such as Chelsea's Gaël Kakuta – who at 19 is rated France's brightest prospect – are prevented from playing first-team football in England. "At that age the most important thing is to improve, to play and to learn, rather than getting an attractive transfer to a club in the big four or the big five [of the Premier League]," Blanc said, speaking yesterday ahead of his side's friendly against England at Wembley tomorrow. "They'll train once or twice a week with the first team but will never play in the first team. What's the point of that?

"It halts progress. You need a career plan, what do you aspire to at 16 or 17 when you are in a French club? To play in the first team at Le Havre or to get a big transfer and not play? The player has to think about this with his entourage to make the right choice. If you think about the ideal progression, it's not the right choice. [But] we're not in control of the lad or his entourage."

Regardless of his fears for the future, Blanc has led a mini-revival of the French national team after their catastrophic World Cup. Since taking over from Raymond Domenech in July, Blanc has made sweeping changes, and the rebuilding process has started promisingly, with France top of their Euro 2012 qualifying group with three wins in a row after losing the opening match at home to Belarus.

Yet the events in South Africa are still raw, and everyone is aware there is still much work to do. Blanc spoke yesterday of trying to instill a "hard centre" to his team, while Chelsea winger Florent Malouda said France are still "really far" from being a top side.

Moving on from the World Cup is proving harder for Blanc than he first imagined when he replaced Domenech. He bemoaned the lack of great players at his disposal, unlike in his heyday as a player when France won the World Cup and the European Championship with the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly and Patrick Vieira. "For the moment we don't have any great players in our national team. What's for certain is that we haven't got there yet, we're not ready," he said. "We have a few players who are playing in big clubs, who are maybe in the process of becoming great players. We have to be patient, we have to help them to blossom."

One player who has demonstrated improved form this year has been Samir Nasri, whose influence in the Arsenal team is growing. Nasri is one of the new players Blanc has introduced to the squad who does not carry the scars from the summer debacle, but yesterday he spoke of how it underlines their current project.

"I wasn't there but I am aware of the nightmare it was for the players, the fans and the whole country. It is still etched on the memories of all those who took part. Now we are all dedicating ourselves to the future," Nasri said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross. Argyll, has remained derelict for more than 25 years
arts + ents
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game