England Boss Laments the Loss of Key Players to Other National Teams: The Best XI of Players Who Got Away
England has long prided itself on being home to some of the most talented footballers in the world, with Gareth Southgate having a wealth of skill at his disposal. However, in recent years, England has lost out on some of the game’s brightest stars to other national teams. Despite the Three Lions managing to convince Declan Rice and Jack Grealish to switch to their side, they have been snubbed by many high-profile players who have no interest in playing for them.
From a Manchester United midfielder to a striker who is currently leading the European Golden Boot race, England has missed out on a host of talented players. One Premier League manager was so desperate to put on the England jersey that he was prepared to go to war with FIFA, and one forward had even represented England twice before deciding to walk away from the senior set-up.
Here is talkSPORT.com’s pick of the XI of players who have turned down the chance to represent England:
Kasper Schmeichel – GK
Though he grew up in Manchester, Kasper Schmeichel, the Danish international, never wavered in his desire to represent his home nation.
Matty Cash – RB
Aston Villa’s Matty Cash applied for a Polish passport in 2021, which was granted as he qualifies through his mother and late grandfather, who was born in Poland. He has since become Poland’s first-choice option, where he played in four World Cup matches.
Antonee Robinson – LB
Fulham’s Antonee Robinson, who was born in Milton Keynes before coming through Everton’s academy, had already represented America at youth level when he made his senior debut in 2018.
Wes Morgan – CB
Leicester’s Wes Morgan was part of the squad that won the Premier League title in the 2015/16 season, helping the side win their first top-flight title. He had already switched his international allegiance to Jamaica in 2013, who he represented on 30 occasions.
Ashley Williams – CB
Swansea legend Ashley Williams helped the Welsh outfit climb from League One to the Premier League, with the club lifting the League Cup in 2013. By that time, he was already a Wales international, having made his debut in 2008.
Scott McTominay – CM
Manchester United’s Scott McTominay was controversially overlooked by Gareth Southgate before being called up to the Scots. The midfielder elected to represent the country of his father in 2018 after choosing to play for Scotland.
Mikel Arteta – CM
Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal boss, qualified for England by residency, but FIFA ultimately rejected the FA’s request. The midfielder who left Everton in 2011 to join Arsenal, is considered one of the best players to have never played on the international stage.
Jamal Musiala – AM
Despite being raised in England, Bayern Munich star Jamal Musiala chose to represent Germany, the country of his birth. Born to a German mother and British-Nigerian father, Musiala featured for England at youth level.
Though England has missed out on some exceptional talents, they still boast one of the most formidable squads in world football. As they prepare to take on the best of the best at the upcoming European Championships, Gareth Southgate will undoubtedly be looking to seize the moment and bring glory back to the Three Lions.
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