Jack Wilshere has hit out at the FA’s possible recruitment of Belgium-born Adnan Januzaj, insisting only “English people” should play for the national team.
Januzaj turned down an international call-up for Belgium’s World Cup qualifiers this week, prompting suggestions for the FA to consider making him a Three Lions player.
Although the 18-year-old is also eligible to play for Turkey and Serbia, he could turn out for England in 2018 under FIFA’s residency rules if he remains in the Premier League until then.
But Wilshere believes the FA’s ploy is off the mark.
“The only people who should play for England are English people,” he said. “If you live in England for five years, it doesn’t make you English.
“You shouldn’t play. It doesn’t mean you can play for a country. If I went to Spain and lived there for five years, I’m not going to play for Spain.”
The lack of English players getting opportunities to play in England’s top flight has often been a topic for debate, but Wilshere has now joined the argument to insist the “crisis” is not as big as some have suggested.
“I don’t think we should be worried at all,” he said. “You look in the Premier League and we saw Ravel Morrison burst onto the scene this season, and he is a great prospect for the future. It’s not just him. There are other great England players coming through as well.
“Okay, there is a few foreign players as well, but I can learn from the foreign players at Arsenal. Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, they are top, top players, and I can only learn from them. It’s a positive, I think.
“Teams want the best players, and if you have the best players coming through the academy, you will play. If you are good enough, it doesn’t matter where you come from, but you have to be good enough.”