U21 boss Southgate: Our overseas born players are ‘incredibly proud’ to play for England

England U21 manager Gareth Southgate has waded into the debate regarding players representing the country despite being born overseas.

England U21 manager Gareth Southgate has waded into the debate regarding players representing the country despite being born overseas.

The Young Lions have a number of players who were born abroad including West Bromwich Albion’s Saido Berahino (Burundi), Chelsea’s Nottingham Forest loanee Nathaniel Chalobah (Sierra Leone), Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling (Jamaica) and Manchester United’s Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast) so Southgate is open to the fact that these players should be eligible to represent England.

“We have lots of boys in our squad who weren’t born here but whose families have fled here — and some wonderful stories,” said Southgate, who was unsure if United’s Belgium-born Adnan Januzaj should play for England.

“Saido, Wilf, Nat Chalobah. All incredibly proud to play for England. The world is changing, families are moving more, working abroad.

“It’s important to know why somebody would want to play for you. I am torn about it.

“Had Januzaj played for somebody else, that would be more of an issue. Once you have done that, especially at senior level, then you are coming somewhere else for another reason.

“If you’ve not played for anybody, then it’s a greyer area. Personally, I wouldn’t have wanted to play for anyone else. My sole thing was I wanted to play for England.”

 
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