FA chairman Greg Dyke has announced plans to reduce the number of foreign players in the Premier League in an effort to boost the percentage of England-qualified players in the top flight, the Daily Telegraph has reported.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has been cited by Dyke as an example of the benefits of giving young players a change, Kane having become Spurs’ first-choice striker, a prolific scorer and called in to the senior England side for the first time this week ahead of games against Lithuania and Italy.
The Premier League currently has 35% of its players eligible for England but Dyke wants to see the number increased to 40% or higher, and intends to restrict the number of foreign players that can be fielded in order to do so. Dyke wants to change what is considered a ‘home-grown’ player to a player having been registered at their club for three years before their 18th birthday, in order to avoid foreign players coming to England as teenagers and qualifying as home-grown as a result.
Dyke also wants to force an increase of ‘home-grown’ players in clubs’ 25-man squads from eight to 12 and has said the legal side of the change is in the FA’s favour. ““If you go to the clubs, and talk to the academy managers, they all say ‘there are kids but they just can’t get games,’” Dyke said.
“Only 22% of the starts in the current top four teams are qualified to play for England compared to 28% last year,” he continued. “In 2014 just 23 English players appeared in any Champions League group matches, compared with 78 Spanish players, 55 German players and 51 Brazilian players. That’s the grim picture at the top of the game but it is hard to argue we don’t have the talent.”
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