Football

Jack Wilshere: Only English players should play for England

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Only English people should play for England - that's the latest statement from Jack Wilshere, who doesn't seem too pleased that England boss Roy Hodgson has had his eye on Manchester United teenager Adnan Januzaj.

Hodgson confirmed on Saturday that England have been watching the 18-year-old playmaker, and if he passes FIFA's five-year residency requirement he would become eligible to play for the Three Lions.

21-year-old Wilshere was quoted on the BBC saying: "If you live in England for five years it doesn't make you English.

"If I went to Spain and lived there for five years I'm not going to play for Spain."

Januzaj, who is of Kosovan descent and born in Brussels, has been at Old Trafford since 2011, and scored twice on his full debut against struggling Sunderland to lead the Red Devil's to a 2-1 victory.

Hodgson was impressed by his performance and said: "There's no doubt that he's a real talent and we have our eyes on him but a lot will have to be discussed.

"Yes [he could play for England] down the line if he becomes naturalised or if he becomes a homegrown product."

Wilshere, who has come under scrutiny since being pictured smoking outside a nightclub, insists only English people should play.

He added: "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."

However, England's Under-21 team consists of players from a variety of nationalities, including Liverpool's Raheem Sterling who was born in Jamaica and Manchester United's Wilfried Zaha who was born in Ivory Coast.

Their coach, Gareth Southgate, seemed less sure about Wilshere's comments.

He said: "It's a difficult one, Januzaj has not played for anyone else. We have lots of boys in our squad who were not born here, whose families have fled here.

"There are some wonderful stories and they are all incredibly proud to play for England.

"I'm torn with it. The world is changing. People move and work abroad. It is important to know why someone wants to play for you."

Southgate also raised an interesting debate - South African cricketers Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior and Jonathon Trott all play for England, and have been embraced by the English.

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Topics:
Football
England Football
Jack Wilshere

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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