There are a host of international footballers in the Premier League who could have played for England, but opted to represent another country instead.
Lets take a closer look at some of England's biggest misses.
Born to a German mother in Erkelenz, West Germany, Lewis Holtby clearly has his German ties. However his father, Chris Holtby, is a Liverpudlian soldier and huge Everton fan. So Lewis - being half-German, half-English - could have been pushing Jack Wilshere and Scott Parker for their positions instead of Metsut Ozil or Mario Gotze.
Frenchman Gael Clichy has admitted that he considered playing for the England national team because of his love for the country. Clichy, 24, is now a full international for France after making his senior debut in a qualifier against Serbia in 2008. But the left-back, currently playing for Manchester City, says he came close to following in team-mate Manual Almunia's footsteps by making himself available for England under Fabio Capello.
Moses represented England at all age levels from Under-16 to Under-21, but failure to pick him for a full international has lead the gifted winger, who now turns out for Chelsea, to commit his international future to his country of birth, Nigeria.
Currently playing on loan at Fulham from Arsenal, Emmanuel Frimpong represented England at youth level, even scoring a winning goal against Germany in an under-16 match in 2008. However, in 2009, the youngster said: "No matter what, I will always play for Ghana because at the end of the day, from what I believe, I am a Ghanaian." Failure to lure the talented youngster to an England career has resulted in just that.
These are four examples of players England missed out on, mostly from a lack of commitment to these young stars in the making. It won’t be the last time that failure to commit to a player could come back to bite us. England could lose out on Liverpool's Raheem Sterling and Manchester United's Wilfried Zaha in the near future.
Sterling, 18, is currently playing and impressing for Liverpool after his move from Queens Park Rangers in 2010. He represented England at the under-16 level all the way through to the under-21s, but if we fail to lure him to a career with our national team he could still choose to play for Jamaica, the country of his birth.
Meanwhile Zaha, currently playing on loan for Crystal Palace after being scouted and eventually signed by Manchester United in January 2013, is an incredibly promising talent. The fact that United scouted him at the age of 20 is a testament to that. England must be weary, because although he has represented England at under-19, under-21 and even at senior level in a friendly against Sweden after being called up by Roy Hodgson, he is still eligible to play for his home nation, the Ivory Coast.
England are losing out on players who are making an impact on the Premier League, and now for their nation of choice. We are simply giving away talent. Homegrown talent is all we have, because we can't buy players in an international transfer window or loan a couple of unwanted Spanish midfielders to aid with a decent cup run.
Players slipping through England’s grasp are assets lost forever and I, for one, can't bare watching them making waves for our Premier League clubs without a hint of jealousy and that desperate feeling of an opportunity squandered.
Let's hope I don’t get that same feeling when Sterling and Zaha start fully firing.
Holtby is impressing for Spurs after his move from Schalke in January, but it's almost hard to watch his progression knowing that if we had struck first, he could have been a nice addition to the England setup.
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