There seems to be an ever growing case of promising young players moving to clubs of greater standing too early in their careers and, thus, stunting their respective growth somewhat.
Playing time is hard to come by at big-name clubs and this can lead to youngsters trying to impress far too much in the minimal amounts of time they receive.
One such example is Asier Illarramendi.
Illarramendi was once hailed to become the 'next Xabi Alonso' but, ever since his jump from Real Sociedad to Real Madrid, he's found very few chances to prove himself.
A bad example to follow
At Sociedad he was given ample playing time and he was therefore able to develop into a promising holding midfielder. With Madrid he's seen as a luxury signing and a squad player at best.
The €32 million fee paid for the youngster at the time of his transfer now seems like a waste, something a large team like Real Madrid can live with but not something a youngster can survive in terms of development.
Talks are already said to be ongoing between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao for the Illaramendi to be shifted to new pastures, while in his minimal and restricted time in Madrid, it is easy to see why the promising midfielder was never able to make it.
He jumped the gun too soon and it has harmed his career development. Big and powerful teams are rarely affected by the stagnation in the development of youngsters. After all, teams like Real Madrid and Chelsea can just fork out large sums for new talents that emerge from all over the globe.
Time to learn
In contrast, players are harming their own development by making rash decisions to move abroad and fight for a spot in the starting XI of big teams. Young players that fail to live up to expectations end up being labelled as 'overrated and overpriced flops' whereas they were once labelled 'promising talents'.
Players need to realise that they should make moves to leagues and countries they know they will develop - the Netherlands being a good example - instead of expecting to become instant starters in the Premier League, La Liga etc.
By no means should they consider themselves to be settling for an easier challenge; instead they should understand their own needs to develop before playing for world-class teams.
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