Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has said the Football Association are wrong to be exploring the possibility of Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj playing for the England national team, the
Belgium-born Januzaj is eligible for a number of nations but has yet to declare in favour of one and it was suggested by Roy Hodgson, the England manager, that England could attempt to coax Januzaj into their set-up when he becomes a British citizen, after five years of living in the country.
Wilshere however criticised that rule and believes the England team should be reserved for players who have more of a connection with the country than qualifying through residency. “For me if you are English you are English and you play for England,” Wilshere said. “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. If I went to Spain and lived there for five years I am not going to play for Spain.”
Januzaj can play for any of the six former Yugoslavia nations, which include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia, as his father was born in Kosovo, Turkey, the birthplace of his mother, or Belgium, where he was born. It is thought however that he would like to represent Kosovo but the fledgling country is not yet recognised by FIFA. Should Januzaj wish to play for England, he would have to wait until 2016.
Wilshere added that despite having been given his debut under Fabio Capello, in an ideal world the England team will be led by an Englishman. “It’s better if there is an Englishman but don’t get me wrong, Capello did a lot for my England career. He brought me here and gave me my debut and stuck with me from a young age, so he was a good manager as well.”
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