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England must resist handing Adnan Januzaj a call up

ANALYST
Modified 15 Feb 2014
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Januzaj has not committed himself to any country yet

Januzaj has not committed himself to any country yet

Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj has been gaining a lot of praise for his performance on the pitch for the Red Devils but the player’s international future remains in doubt. The Belgium born youngster’s parents are of Kosovar-Albanian heritage and the player is eligible to represent a host of countries including Belgium, Albania, Kosovo, Turkey and Siberia.

Januzaj has expressed his desire to play for Kosovo but the country does not have a FIFA recognized team. England manager Roy Hodgson, who is an open admirer of the youngster, is keen to add him to the Three Lions set up.

Januzaj, who recently turned 19, is eligible to play for England under FIFA’s new rules and can become a Lion in 2018. However I feel that England should resist the chance in favour of other talent. FIFA’s new rules have been used by countries like Spain who managed to persuade Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, who is of Brazilian heritage, to join their ranks but should be avoided by the Three Lions.

Greg Dyke, FA Chairman and Premier League co-creator, had stated last year that the huge pool of foreign players in the Premier League will ultimately cause problems for the national team. It seems like his worst fears are already coming true. England have the misfortune of having some talented players who are not full blooded Englishmen such as Saido Berahino and Raheem Sterling.

Adding Adnan Januzaj to England’s ranks would probably be a huge error as there are quite a few English wingers like Adam Johnson and Andros Townsend (to name a couple) who are perfectly capable of playing at the highest level.

English clubs like Southampton, Middlesbrough, Manchester United and West Ham United have some superb youth academies that have produced some wonderful talents over the years. The national team should pay more attention to them instead of trying to get the first wonderkid they see.

Jack Wilshere, Luke Shaw and Ross Barkley are brilliant examples of what England are capable of producing. They are already in contention for earning a place on the national squad for the World Cup in Brazil this year which is wonderful.

Other top teams like Germany have produced some amazing home grown talent over the years so England should take an example from one of their biggest footballing foes and try to rival them.

Januzaj should represent Belgium as it will make him a better player. The Belgian team is currently oozing with young talent like Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard who have all had impressive seasons with their respective clubs. Januzaj will get competition there which will push him to try and emulate his countrymen.

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The youngster has refused call ups to the national team but shouldn’t do so anymore as he could get a chance to be a part of the World Cup squad which will give him a chance to play against some top teams.

Everybody is waiting to see who Januzaj chooses to represent internationally and hopefully he will make the right choice. Over to you Adnan.

Published 15 Feb 2014, 18:25 IST
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