Boothroyd thinks England talent line will ensure dual-nationality youth stars like Nketiah, Eze and Musiala stick around
AIDY BOOTHROYD is confident the pathway of progression England have created will convince many of his dual-nationality starlets not to defect to other countries.
The Young Lions currently have a number of players who are eligible for different nations, including star striker Eddie Nketiah.
Both he and Tariq Lamptey have not ruled out one day playing for Ghana, while the same can be said for Ebere Eze regarding Nigeria.
Recent call-up Jamal Musiala was born in Stuttgart but yesterday Germany claimed the Bayern Munich whizkid has committed to the Three Lions.
Meikel Schonweitz, German head of academy coaching, said: “(Musiala) has clearly signalled to us that he currently sees his future with England. We accept his decision and wish him all the best for his sporting career.”
Given how many of England’s prospects hold dual nationality, it is likely to be a constant issue for Gareth Southgate and the national team.
Historically, the Three Lions have occasionally missed out on homegrown talents like Wilfried Zaha – while Aaron Wan-Bissaka could turn to the DR Congo.
But Boothroyd feels a major factor in retaining many of them will be their culture of giving youth a chance – with 17-year-old Jude Bellingham the latest to be promoted to the seniors.
The ex-Watford chief said: “We’ve got a lot of players with dual nationality.
“It’s down to our work with them, whether they enjoy coming with us. Is it progressing their careers? I think yes, it is.
“At some point we are going to miss out on a player but the environment, system and pathway – there aren’t many who have as good a record as we do currently.
“The lads will all get their opportunity and we’ll have to make sure tough calls as we go on. We don’t need to do any special measures for anyone – the pathway is there.
“Some players get stretched and moved up quicker than others. I don’t think there is a better time to be an England player.”
Musiala, 17, is in line to make his debut against either Andorra tonight or Albania on Tuesday – with both games at Molineux.
It remains to be seen if the brief stint with the Young Lions for Bellingham – who was co-captain of the England Under-17s along with close pal Musiala – is now over.
Boothroyd added: “A senior call-up is a very proud moment for any player, regardless of their age. If he is to come back – which he may – we’ll have to wait and see.”
FACTFILE ON DUAL-NATIONALITY PLAYERS
Those we’ve lost: Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coas)
Those we could lose: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (DR Congo)
Those in current Under-21 squad TBC:
Tariq Lamptey, Eddie Nketiah (both Ghana), Jamal Musiala (Germany), Ebere Eze (Nigeria), Jonathan Panzo (Ivory Coast), Josh Dasilva (Angola), Rhian Brewster (Turkey and Barbados), Conor Gallagher (Scotland and Rep of Ireland)
Those we convinced to join us:
Declan Rice, Jack Grealish (both Ireland), Fikayo Tomori (Canada)
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