Sutter has England in his sights
Young Boys defender Scott Sutter is desperate to make his dream of a homecoming to English football a reality in the off-season.
The former Aston Villa and Charlton youngster, now 25, moved to Switzerland in 2003, where he has been ever since - lining up against Tottenham, the side he supports, in the Champions League last season as well as representing his adopted country at international level.
But he told Goal.com
that the time is right for a return after coming 'really, really close' to joining Blackburn Rovers in this year's January transfer window.
"I was there for three days," Sutter said.
"I was there for physical and medical tests and I also had a friendly game amongst the team, and that went really well – then I sat down with Steve Kean. He's a really nice guy, open guy, and he wanted to know a bit about me.
"He told me 'we'd really like to have you for six months with a view to an extension. The only thing is that we put an offer in three weeks ago for Bradley Orr from QPR. The first offer was rejected and they put another offer out, and it's been on the table for two weeks. If this doesn’t go through today, which I don’t think it will, then we’d love to take you on'.
"So I waited, and got a call from Kean and he said that the offer got accepted by QPR and because they had their eye on him before, that was the way they were going to go. So it was very close - and disappointing - but I thank Steve Kean for the opportunity."
Sutter, currently on loan at FC Zurich after finding opportunities limited at his parent club, said more young English players should follow his example and seek to develop overseas.
"Today, more than ever, it is so difficult for young players to come through in the Premier League," he argued.
"It's difficult for a player to leave their comfort zone and move abroad but I can only speak highly of it. You grow up a lot quicker, learn a new language, and the football is good.
"The football maybe hasn't got the same peak as it has in England or Germany, but we've seen with Basel this season and Young Boys last year that the top Swiss sides can play a part in Europe, or at least keep up. So I can only recommend it to any young player.
"I was really impressed by the whole set-up and the work with the juniors at Grasshoppers when I moved there (in 2003, before joining Young Boys in 2009)," the right-back continued.
"I just thought 'it's a great opportunity to go there with the aim of coming back'. I saw how technically gifted all the players were over here, the juniors, and said 'yeah, this is what I want to learn and learn my trade'. That was the main reason behind me moving.
"I always get asked the question of 'could the teams survive in the Premier League?', the big teams over here and I think that, just on the quality, they could."
Despite his praise for Swiss football, however, Sutter feels that the time has come to take the next step and find his way back to England.
"It's always been my ambition, my dream," he continued.
"When I came over here, I came here with the aim to learn my trade abroad and then someday move back to England. So I've never hidden the fact that that's my aim and I hope that, in summer, it might work out.
"There's only a month and a half left of the season and to be honest I've no idea what will happen.
"I've heard that there are a couple of teams that are interested, but the main thing is just about me getting my head down and playing again.
"I've got enough confidence that I know that I'm good enough to play in England, be that in the Championship or the lower Premiership. I hope that something can happen in summer, because, for me, it's pretty clear that I need a change.
"I've been here for nine-and-a-half years - in the summer it'll be 10 years - and I've played in this league for six seasons and I've sort of seen it now.
"I need a fresh start, a change, I need a new challenge, and to come back to England, where I've always wanted to go, would be the ideal thing for me."