Spurs prospect turns down England for Japan: They'll be better!

Tottenham Hotspur’s Cy Goddard has chosen to represent his mother’s Japan over England - the land of his birth.

Cy Goddard, 17, has yet to make a competitive appearance for Tottenham Hotspur, but he is a regular at Under-18 level, and made one appearance for the Under-21’s last season - despite the large gap in age.

The youngster is a left-footed central midfielder, who has been praised for his ability to play long-distance passes, and his reputation is large enough to have drawn interest from Japan-based scouts.

Having a mother from Japan means that he is eligible to play for both them, and England - his birthplace, and that of his father. However, he revealed that he always wanted to play for Japan, and has never even thought about the England national football team.

Quoted on THBN, Goddard revealed: "I have never really wanted to play for England. Always my mindset was that I wanted to play for Japan. Since I was 10, it's always been an ambition of mine.

"If they keep progressing as quickly, then they will be better than England and a lot of nations in the future. I think a lot of the boys (in this country's youth system) are also looking elsewhere rather than England.

"A lot of people in the youth system are not really admiring the England team and the English way of playing football. For me, I have always pictured myself playing for Japan.”

Having heard of his abilities, Japanese scouts flew over to England to watch him play for Spurs, and they were impressed enough to call him up for an Under-16 tournament in 2013. At the Montagiu tournament in France, he was awarded the Most Valuable Player trophy - despite failing to understand the language of his teammates.

"I was nervous. You are thrown into a whole different situation that you haven’t experienced. I’m not the best at speaking Japanese, but I was able to settle in really well. They helped me with tactics, and other things you come to understand as you play.

"You can also understand through hand signals. If I wanted them to pass, I would just say “Yeah” in English.”

As well as being a highly rated youngster that Spurs are pinning their future on, having chosen Asia rather than England benefits the club from a marketing standpoint. Much like with DeAndre Yedlin and the US market, the club will be hoping that international and club success for Goddard will create an explosion of Spurs fans in the Far East.

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