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‘Tariq Lamptey considering Ghana switch,’ says England U-21 coach

The full-back is in a dilemma over the country to represent at senior level.

Defender Tariq Lamptey has asked to be left out of the England U-21 squad after being approached by Ghana to switch allegiances.

The Brighton star, 21, was due to be in the Young Lions’ selection for their upcoming four Euro qualifiers against Czech Republic, Albania, Kosovo and Slovenia.

But he has decided to sit it out as he mulls over whether to represent the Black Stars instead.

Lamptey, who has two England U-21 caps, was born in Hillingdon, west London, but is of Ghanaian descent.

Young Lions boss Lee Carsley revealed Wednesday:

“There’s an issue over his dual nationality. He’s had an approach. It’s something he’s considering at the minute.

“He’s asked to be left out of the squad for a bit of headspace. He’s not switched, it’s not cemented or anything like that.

“But he’s had an approach (from Ghana), we have to respect that.

“We’ve made it clear how important we see him to us. I know the seniors have as well.

“It’s not something that we’ve given up on. Tariq is fully aware of how important we see him.”

Carsley says he has had a number of “good conversations” with Lamptey over the situation and believes senior boss Gareth Southgate has also been in contact with the Albion right-back.

England have a wealth of options in his position, including the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, James Justin, Kyle Walker-Peters, Tino Livramento and more.

In this U-21 squad alone, there are promising right-backs in Nottingham Forest loanee Djed Spence, Norwich’s Max Aarons and Ben Johnson of West Ham.

Carsley added: “I’ve definitely got to give him a bit of space now. We’ve got a squad of players there that are desperate to play for England.

“I wouldn’t want to leave one out to bring one in that’s unsure, I don’t think that’s fair.

“But the opposite to that is Tariq is a big player for us and we see a real future for him within the pathway, so I’ll definitely be going back to him.

“He would be a big loss. We do have some really good right-backs but that doesn’t mean we should become blasé about our players.

“We see Tariq as an important player for not potentially only the senior team but the 21s as well.”

The risk of losing players to other countries due to dual or more nationality is becoming ever more common for England.

Wilfried Zaha’s switch to Ivory Coast is a famous example, but more recently they have lost Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala to Germany.

Players can switch as long as they have played three senior appearances or fewer, and those appearances came before they were 21.

Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi could still change to Ivory Coast and Chelsea ace Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has three England but may well opt to play for Ghana.

Yet England have also benefitted from dual nationality by convincing Declan Rice and Jack Grealish to switch from the Republic of Ireland.

Carsley added: “One thing we don’t want to do is force people to play for England.

“We can only let them know when they’re on camp and off camp how important they are to us. We can never make any guarantees.

“I think it’s unfair in football to do that. But I’ve had some really good conversations with Tariq over the last few days.

“He’s a very level-headed, sensible kid. It’s not like you can see him going one way one day and the next changing like the wind.

“We’ve definitely not given up on it. But we have to respect that space as well. If head-wise he’s not in a position where he feels he can play, then we have to respect that.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve done as much as we can, but he knows where we stand with him. I think we have to respect now that he’s got a decision to make. Not only with himself, but with his family.”




©The Sun


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