Embrace the playing style but let's not 'steal' players

Arsenal star Jack Wilshere has prompted debate due to his comments on Manchester United player Adnan Januzaj.

Recently there has been discussion over whether Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj - an 18-year-old Belgium-born winger of Albania/Serbia descent - should be approached to play for England despite only signing for the Red Devils two years ago, aged 16.

Some schools of thought suggest embracing people from overseas wanting to compete for this nation - a perfectly acceptable argument - especially if they have been born overseas but grew up at a very young age, or have immediate relatives from the country they wish to represent.

But there is also the feeling that if players are just picking and choosing the countries they play for then what is the point of international competition?

It is an interesting argument and debate to be had, but judging by Januzaj’s displays so far, the United youngster is going to be playing international football for a side before England will have a chance to put in any effort to claim him as their own.

Of course football isn’t the only sport that is locked in this sort of debate. Cricket, rugby league and athletics to name a few have contentious issues when it comes to nationality. The current England cricket team has its fair share of South African players for example yet seems to be relatively successful.

Some will argue that they put off players from striving to be successful in that sport but it can also be motivational, though it may seem a little odd if an England side wins and you hear a non-English accent come out - but it does happen with other nations.

But instead of trying to prise away players from playing for other countries, is this not yet another argument in favour of trying to embrace other countries ways of developing their players? Should that not be the real debate taking place here?

image: © geetarchurchy

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