Arsene Wenger speaks out over Wilshere's England debate

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger comments on the topic gripping the national media.

The frenzy kicked up over Jack Wilshere's comments surrounding nationality and representing one's country has transcended football, into the wider sporting world and hit all pages in national newspapers.

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The Twittersphere has been central to the backlash, with prominent cricketer Kevin Pietersen asking Wilshere on social media for his exact definition of a foreigner and whether that includes himself and other athletes who have represented Britain such as Justin Rose and Mo Farah (see below).

Wilshere maintains his name is being dragged through the mud be the media, has clarified his position, insisted that people like Pietersen, Farah and Wilfried Zaha 'make the country proud', but that his personal view on football is that he disagrees with the option available to footballers that allows them to go to a new country in adulthood, obtain a passport and then represent that national team.

See also: Wilshere puts smoke scandal in past to light up England stage

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It is an opinion that differs to his manager at Arsenal and long-time mentor Arsene Wenger, who said in a revealing interview with AP that: 'We live in a global world. I have players who have three different nationalities. And at the end of the day I ask them, 'Where do you really feel you belong?' And that is for me where you are from.'

He added, in what is perhaps in allusion to players such as Emmanuel Frimpong: 'I have boys who have come from Africa. Many immigrants now come to Europe, they stay four or five years in one country, then they move to another country and they have three different passports.

'At the end of the day, I believe you are from the country where you feel the most comfortable with the culture of the country,' Wenger concluded.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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