News surfaced this week that Perth Glory’s 16-year-old whizkid Jacob Italiano is set to sign a multi-year contract with Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Year 11 student has made five senior appearances for Perth who will reportedly be paid in instalments until Italiano completes his official transfer in 2019.

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Although the youngster has been a bright spark in Perth’s injury-riddled start to the campaign he remains unlikely to garner immediate first team action at Monchengladbach.

A more likely scenario would see Italiano play with Monchengladbach’s second team in the German third division.

This begs the question whether Italiano would benefit more from playing week in week out in the A-League beyond 2019 before departing overseas?

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Former Central Coast Mariner Mustafa Amini experienced something similar when signing for Borrussia Dortmund in 2010.

The then 19-year-old spent five years at Dortmund without playing a single match for the first team, instead plying his trade for its reserves.

Now 24, Amini plays semi-regularly in Denmark and has two Socceroos caps to his name but one wonders how many more Amini would have, had he stayed to develop his game in the A-League.

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Playing in familiar surroundings, Italiano could establish himself as one of the best and most proven players in the A-League before departing overseas, case in point Aaron Mooy.

After an initial stint in Europe, Mooy returned to Australia and spent four seasons in the A-League to cement himself as one of our nation’s brightest talents.

The ball-playing midfielder improved each season in the A-League before making a move to England’s Championship aged 25.

Mooy is now an integral part of Huddersfield’s first team who compete in the Premier League with the midfielder already scoring four goals with one coming in a win over giants Manchester United.

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Players like Kofi Danning (now in Canberra NPL), Adam Sarota (now in Ducth second tier) and Josh Brillante (now back in A-League) were all young talents that moved overseas early in their careers.

This proves the importance of timing in relation to transfers and indicates how one error in judgement can put a serious dent in a player’s career.

Italiano will be 18 when he departs for Germany full-time and although there will be excitement around his future there won’t be any expectations of first team football upon his arrival.

If exceptional young talents like Italiano are given another couple of seasons to churn out consistent performances in the A-League it surely acts as a better platform to guide their transition into overseas clubs.

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Football fan and digital communications officer following Perth Glory during the 2017/2018 A-League season.