Since his match-winning performance against Sunderland last weekend, the international future of Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj has been the major discussion point across Europe.

The starlet is eligible for Belgium, Serbia, Albania, Turkey and Kosovo, while England have been credited with a major interest in convincing the 18-year-old that he should don the white of the Three Lions.

While no decision has been made by Januzaj, the debate over whether or not the FA should continue their pursuit of the tricky attacker has taught us multiple things, here GMS Academy member, Thomas Hember, runs us through some of the major talking points.

Are our young players good enough?

When St George's Park was opened in October last year, we were told it would help us, as a nation, produce top quality young players.

While it's too early to judge the impact the state of the art facility has had, by entering the race to secure the international future of a player born in Belgium to Albanian parents the English FA are indadvertedly suggesting our talent pool just isn't good enough.

The astronomical rise of Januzaj has already put the breaks on the development of Wilfried Zaha as the former Crystal Palace man is yet to make any impact at Old Trafford despite an impressive pre-season.

With young wingers like Zaha, Thomas Ince, Raheem Sterling and Nathan Redmond eager to make the progression from Under 21's to regular full international, the FA's pursuit of Januzaj suggest's they have little faith in the ability of our existing talent. 

Even if Januzaj were keen to represent England, he'd be unavailable for selection until 2018, by which time St George's Park should have helped us produce our own talent.

We're not ready to embrace cultural progression.

Should an England manager be allowed to call upon someone who, with all due respect, simply isn't English?

That's the question on many peoples lips, and the resounding answer from the general public seems to be no.

England and Arsenal star, Jack Wilshere, made his views on the issue crystal clear with his comments during the week, saying: "For me if you are English you are English and you play for England. The only people who should play for England are English people. If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English."

While some people may think Wilshere's comments were more suited to departing EDL leader Tommy Robinson than a Premier League footballer, his views are ultimately fair, as he continued to explain: "If I went to Spain and lived there for five years I am not going to play for Spain."

While Wilshere's views are completely understandable, is it time we embraced the movement of labour within the football industry and made use of the foreign stars plying their trade on our shores?

Nationality is more important than success.

'Foreign' players starring for a different country is by no means a new phenomenon. In 1998, a number of France's World Cup winning squad were eligible to play for different countries, with Zinedine Zidane being born to Algerian parents and Patrick Vieira and Marcel Desailly both being born in Africa. However, in one way or another, they qualified for France and played a major role in helping the team lift the World Cup.

A decade on and Spain won the European Championships largely thanks to the performances of a Brazillian. Marcos Senna was born in Brazil, his family is Brazilian, yet thanks to lengthy spell at Villarreal he was granted Spanish citizenship and made his debut for the national team in 2006.

Despite other teams proving the benefits of making use of star players who have gained citizenship, England fans seem to be against the idea and continue to overlook the likes of Mikel Arteta despite the continued lack of success for the national team.


So regardless of what national shirt Januzaj adorns in what will no doubt be a long and successful career, he's already provided a major boost to English football simply by raising the aforementioned issues.


Topics:
#England Football
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