Bundesliga quintet Jadon Sancho, Arjen Robben, Jerome Boateng, Thorgan Hazard and Davy Klaassen (l.-r.) all count English Premier League clubs among their former employers. - © © imago
Bundesliga quintet Jadon Sancho, Arjen Robben, Jerome Boateng, Thorgan Hazard and Davy Klaassen (l.-r.) all count English Premier League clubs among their former employers. - © © imago

Jadon Sancho, Arjen Robben, Jerome Boateng, Thorgan Hazard and Davy Klaassen: The Bundesliga's gain, the English Premier League's pain

What do Jadon Sancho, Arjen Robben, Jerome Boateng, Thorgan Hazard and Davy Klaassen have in common, apart from being five exceedingly good footballers? They all found fame and fortune in the Bundesliga, after being squandered by the English Premier League. And you thought goalkeepers were the only ones to drop clangers…

Radiating Schadenfreude, bundesliga.com recounts the career-shaping tales of the above-mentioned Premier League expats turned Bundesliga ballers. Warning: some content may not be suitable for fans of a Manchester City, Chelsea or Everton persuasion.

Jadon Sancho

Age: 18
Previous EPL club: Manchester City
Current BL club: Borussia Dortmund 

What must be going through the collective heads at Manchester City when they see Sancho's name plastered all over the back pages? The England winger appeared to be a one-way ticket to the top after moving to City from the Watford youth team at the age of 15, but for some bizarre reason the promise of first-team football did not materialise, and he was allowed to leave for Dortmund in summer 2017. It might just be the worst decision in the Mancunian club's history.

Following a strong debut season in the Bundesliga, flecked with moments of pure, unadulterated individual brilliance, Sancho has been well and truly unleashed in 2018/19. Dortmund's ace in the hole has produced more league assists (six) than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo after seven matches, made history as the youngest Englishman to appear in the UEFA Champions League for a non-British club, become the first player born in the 2000s to get an England call-up - and generally turned more heads than 50' Tyrannosaurus Rex in stilettos at Paris Fashion Week.

Arjen Robben

"I'm so happy that I chose to come to Dortmund a year ago," Sancho said at the start of October, after signing a new deal with free-scoring Bundesliga leaders Dortmund through to 2022. "Everything I was hoping for has come true: this city loves football like no other, and at BVB young players get regular playing time. I can really make outstanding progress here. I'm happy, delighted and proud to be part of this team. We're building something amazing."

Age: 34
Previous EPL club: Chelsea
Current BL club: Bayern Munich

Robben probably thought he had the makings of something special after helping Chelsea to their first ever Premier League title in his debut season at the club in 2004/05. The former Groningen and PSV Eindhoven winger backed up his performances as the Blues successfully defended their crown the following campaign, but the relationship turned sour once it became clear 'in sickness and health' wasn't a clause in the injury-hit Dutchman's contract.

Robben started over at Real Madrid, spending two years in the Spanish capital, before joining Bayern in August 2009. Nearly 10 years on, the marriage between the self-styled "man of glass" and Germany's record champions is as strong as ever. The 34-year-old has claimed multiple honours, including seven Bundesliga titles and the 2013 UEFA Champions League, and - armed with his almost patented inside run and left-footed finish - remains one of football's most fearsome propositions.

Watch: Sit back and enjoy the wonder that is Arjen Robben

- © gettyimages / Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

Jerome Boateng

"I went abroad at 20 to join a big club in Chelsea. After two years at Madrid, I made the decision to come to Bayern," recalled Robben, whose signature move has produced a staggering 101 goals and 141 assists in 300 appearances in a Bayern shirt. "At first I was skeptical, I didn't know if it was the right decision. But now I can say it is the best decision of my career."

Age: 30
Previous EPL club: Manchester City
Current BL club: Bayern Munich

Boateng wasn't so much skeptical as he was chomping at the bit to join Bayern in summer 2011. The Germany international had been used sparingly at best by Roberto Mancini during his one-season stint at Man City; worse still he had been deployed, for the most part, at either right- or left-back. Strange way to treat one of the world's best central defenders, isn't it?

City reportedly made a tidy profit on the former Hertha Berlin and Hamburg man, but the short-term financial gain is nothing compared to what Bayern received in exchange. A true thinking man's defender - one with the passing range of a deep-lying midfielder - Boateng is the rock on which Bayern's six-season reign as Bundesliga champions has been built. Although he had the opportunity to go back to England in summer 2018, the 2014 FIFA World Cup winner politely rebuffed Jose Mourinho's advances - sparing his ex-employers across town any further embarrassment.


"With Werder I found the right club," Klaassen said. "There are some who think it is a step backwards, but not for me. For me, it's crucial that I play, and that the style of play suits me. Bremen is still a big club, even if the past few years didn't always go well. Nobody wants to play for places 12, 13 or 14. It'll be tough, but we want to be playing in Europe again."

Chris Mayer-Lodge

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