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Jack Wilshere says only English players should play for England

Only English people should play football for England, midfielder Jack Wilshere has said.

Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj could play for England from 2018 under Fifa’s five-year residency requirement, as he has yet to commit to another country.

Midfielder Januzaj, 18, is eligible for Belgium, Serbia, Albania and Turkey.

But, asked about the issue, Arsenal and England midfielder Wilshere said: “If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English.”

“We have great characters. You think of Spain and you think technical but you think of England and you think they are brave and they tackle hard. We have to remember that.

“The only people who should play for England are English people. If I went to Spain and lived there for five years, I’m not going to play for Spain.”

ater on Wednesday, the 21-year-old Arsenal player took to Twitter to say his comments had not been about Januzaj.

“I wasn’t referring to Januzaj,” he said. “The question was should foreign players be allowed to play for England, and in my opinion I don’t think they should. He is a great player. I wish he was English.”

Januzaj, who joined United in 2011 from Belgian club Anderlecht for a reported fee of nearly £300,000, was born in Brussels.

He has turned down the advances of Belgium, and has not won a cap at any level for any country.

Januzaj qualifies for Albania through his Kosovan-Albanian parents, Turkey through his grandparents and Serbia as Kosovo’s independence has not been recognised by the United Nations.

World governing body Fifa’s rules state that a player is eligible to play for a country if “he has lived continuously for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant association”.

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