Jack Wilshere has started a huge debate at international level after saying that only English players should be allowed to represent the England national team. His comments come after Manchester United teenager Adnan Januzaj is reportedly eyed by the England FA to represent England rather than his birth country Belgium.
The 18-year-old is regarded as one of the best youngsters involved football right now. He is capable of representing five member countries including Scotland, Croatia and Albania. England are looking to get him on the national team based on the residency rules.
He will not be able to make his debut for England until 23 years of age when he will be able to make his debut under the FIFA rules that state that any player who has spent five years in the country is a legal resident.
Wilshere, who is regarded as a great English talent, says that the policy of selecting players should be based on their country of birth rather than country of residence. Hence, only English born players should be allowed to represent the England national team.
This comment is likely to infuriate the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Raheem Sterling, have been born in the likes of Ivory Coast and Jamaica respectively. Sterling may be about to join Arsenal in January if the footy transfer betting is to be believed, which could make it awkward around the Emirates.
“If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English. We have to remember what we are. We are English. We tackle hard, are tough on the pitch and are hard to beat. We have great characters. You think of Spain and you think technical but you think of England and you think they are brave and they tackle hard. We have to remember that. The only people who should play for England are English people,” said Wilshere.
Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has said recently that Wilshere could be the future of English football.