As England looks to build a successful national team, should they allow foreign players to be part of it? In cricket they have, by allowing several players from South Africa to represent the England team. Other footballing countries have also be open to the idea. For instance the French squad is made up of a lot of players from African countries and the German team is made up of players from various other countries.
I may be in a minority, but I would be supportive of including foreign players within the England squad. In the past Almunia has been mentioned as a possibility, but the reality is he isn’t good enough and if England needs to look to him, then they have bigger problems. Mikel Arteta is a different story entirely though. Clearly he is one of the most talented midfield players in the Premier League. But he has never won a cap for Spain, and due to living in England for the last five years, could theoretically play for England.
The England team may have a lot of things, but craft, technique and creativity are certainly qualities they can use. I think he is just the sort of player the England team is crying out for. The fact that he is Spanish is far less important than the qualities he brings as a footballer. Arteta isn’t being considered for the time being and the player himself hasn’t said too much. But what he has said suggests he would be keen. Comments such as; he would consider it very seriously, and no one has discussed it with him. Seems a bit like a come and get me plea. But at 28, who would blame him for trying to establish an international future.
In 2010, England had a very disappointing World Cup and it was clear some of the other teams were better. Germany was the obvious comparison and it’s interesting to see the different approaches of the two countries. The German team is made up of players from all over the world and overall they look a very strong team. So with that in mind, why can’t England adopt a similar approach? There is nothing wrong with putting a team together in this way, as long as the players are eligible to play for their adopted country. Hopefully in the future England will embrace foreign players like they have embraced a foreign manager and we can talk about a successful England team.