Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien says moving abroad at an early age helped greatly in his career development.
He believes the introduction of the UEFA Youth League this season will help budding talents to realize their dreams.
The Ghana international also wrote in his October blog on Chelsea’s website that English youngsters wanting to make it in football must work hard.
“Looking back to when I was a youngster coming through, I was on the road from the ages of 16 – 17 trialing at European clubs.
“I had two trials with Sir Alex at Manchester United when I was a kid before settling at Bastia. Hard work ensured I developed the skills I had and I was always looking to improve.
“Having played across Europe at a young age, I do believe this helped my development.
“This is why I think competitions such as last year’s NextGen and the recently launched UEFA Youth League are great for the experience of young players.”