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Middlesbrough chairman: Brooking argument too simplistic

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has rubbished simplistic claims from Sir Trevor Brooking that foreign imports are damaging England's national team.

"I think we need to be brighter in our approach and our thinking as to why England is so far behind," said Gibson.

"It is wrong to see the foreign players as a threat. We should be looking to learn from them.

"This country still produces excellent footballers. We just don't produce excellent teams."

Boro's academy has unearthed several notable homegrown players in recent years, including England international Stewart Downing, and under-21 stars Andrew Taylor, Lee Cattermole and David Wheater.

Gibson also told a BBC Tees Forum: "There's a lot in football you don't see," said Gibson. "At Boro we put a lot of time into educating our coaching staff, the academy, and the kids we try to bring through.

"We've seen the arrival of David Wheater and Gareth has given him the opportunity and the confidence to go out there and play. Would I sell David Wheater for £10m? No."

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