Southgate keen to see cap

England Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate has called for a cap on foreign talent playing below the Premier League.

Last Updated: 14/10/13 at 18:51 Post Comment

Gareth Southgate: Not sure if idea is legally enforceable

Gareth Southgate: Not sure if idea is legally enforceable

England Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate has called for a cap on foreign talent playing below the Premier League, but has "no idea" whether such a proposal is legally enforceable.

After a summer of failure at age-group level, the state of the national game has been a hot topic of debate as standards have come under the spotlight.

Greg Dyke has made improving England's fortunes high on his agenda since being appointing Football Association chairman and recently launched a commission charged with improving the national team.

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle is one of the confirmed members and last week called for a quota system in the Premier League to allow home-grown talent to flourish - sentiments echoed by Southgate.

While unsure if legal frameworks would allow it, the England Under-21s boss has called for the number of foreign players in the Football League to be capped.

"I have no idea it is legally enforceable," Southgate said. "I've done what so many people do - come up with an idea and floated it.

"The implementation of these things is always much harder [than that] and the realities of getting it through legislation and everything else.

"But my point really was a lot of countries, if you want to move there and apply for a work permit, you've got to be adding something at a higher level to the workforce.

"If that is the Premier League, then that is clearly the very best. You are bringing good people in.

"If that is in the Championship, then it is not such a high level. Could some of our younger players that are Premier League clubs be filling the Championship? I think they could."

Southgate's talented squad is a prime example of that, with the likes Thomas Ince, Tom Carroll and Nathaniel Chalobah amongst those flourishing in the Championship.

"I believe that is an opportunity for our young players to gain first-team football in a pressurised environment that is preferable perhaps to playing in a domestic Under-21s league," he said.

"Our better players, when they get to 19, 20, 21, maybe do not get as much of a challenge as they need [playing in Under-21s leagues]."

The quota proposal is likely to be looked at further by the FA commission, which has yet to complete its 10-person line-up.

Southgate has confirmed he will not be one of those extra members, but was quick to dismiss those that believe it will be a waste of time.

"I am already involved in the organisation so there is no need for those of us that are working in the football side here to be involved in it," he said.

"I think we are already working towards a lot of the aims that might well come out of that.

"I think it is good to have people from outside to bring ideas that maybe that those of us internally have not come up with yet."

Southgate's immediate attention is on his England Under-21s side, who take on Lithuania in a European Championship qualifier at Portman Road on Tuesday evening.

Raheem Sterling's call-up by the senior side rules him out of the clash in Ipswich, while Southampton's Luke Shaw is unavailable due to a virus.

Burnley forward Danny Ings is carrying an ankle injury so is a doubt, although left-back Jack Robinson is available again after illness.

"We have learned that we have got some exciting players, who are willing to work very hard on the training ground and learn and listen," Southgate said of his first few months at the helm.

"They seem to be enjoying what they are doing, so that was one of the things we wanted to put in place in the first couple of months. Embed the culture we want to create around the team and the environment we want them to work in."


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