Two goals, that’s all it has taken. Adnan Januzaj is a world class player…… well the English media would have you think that anyway. Hodgson declared on BBC’s Match of the Day that the English National side are looking at ways of making Januzaj a English player. The thought of England naturalising a foreign talent is unthinkable?
According to certain agreements of the Home Nations, residency naturalisation is not allowed. As for Januzaj, he has been thrown into all the back pages of the newspapers after his match winning performance Sunday, and because of the clarification that England want him.
Januzaj has been on numerous occasions been called up to his country of birth national sides, only for him to decline. He can actually represent four or five different nations. Those nations are Belgium (Place of Birth), Albania (Parents nationality), Kosovo (Parents nationality), Turkey (Grandparents) and Serbia. According to reports, however, Januzaj has stated he wants to play for Albania.
The talk of naturalising Januzaj, will again lead us to the argument that young English players are not being given the chance.
Naturalisation of players is nothing new in the world game however. Cacau of Brazil, is a German international, and Deco also from Brazil, played for Portugal. Former Arsenal and current Shakhtar striker Eduardo, changed his nationality to Croatian, whilst Diego Costa is in the middle of switching allegiances with Brazil to Spain. Whilst it is highly unlikely that we will see Januzaj in an England shirt, its a question that does pop up now and again. Rememeber the talk of Arteta and Carlo Cudicini becoming naturalised Englishmen, both never happened, amid a fierce backlash from the English public.
Are we at the stage now, where we have to look at naturalising players to make sure we can compete with the World’s best?
Should the English national side readily naturalise players?
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Januzaj impressed against Sunderland