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Tariq Lamptey asks to be left out of England U21 squad as he considers switching international allegiance

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Tom Barclay

TARIQ LAMPTEY has asked to be left out of the England U21 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.

Lamptey is considering a switch to Ghana

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

Lamptey, who has two England U21 caps, was born in Hillingdon, west London, but is of Ghanaian descent.

Young Lions boss Lee Carsley revealed: “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 head space. He’s not switched, it’s not cemented or anything like that.


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“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.

Lamptey’s Prem stats this season for Brighton

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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 U21 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 over the last few days with Tariq.

“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 standout name actually in Carsley’s squad was the return of Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe, having not been included in Southgate’s seniors.

While there were maiden call-ups for Aston Villa striker Cameron Archer, who has had a stellar loan at Preston, and Manchester City keeper James Trafford, who has been on loan at Bolton.


Goalkeepers: Joe Bursik (Stoke), James Trafford (Bolton, on loan from Man City), Carl Rushworth (Walsall, on loan from Brighton).

Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich), Charlie Cresswell (Leeds), Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Stoke, on loan from Man City), Levi Colwill (Huddersfield, on loan from Chelsea), James Hill (Bournemouth), Luke Thomas (Leicester), Ben Johnson (West Ham), Djed Spence (Nottingham Forest, on loan from Middlesbrough).

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Midfielders: Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham), Tommy Doyle (Cardiff, on loan from Man City), Jimmy Garner (Nottingham Forest, on loan from Man Utd), Morgan Gibbs-White (Sheffield United, on loan from Wolves), Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Harvey Elliott (Liverpool).

Strikers: Flo Balogun (Middlesbrough, on loan from Arsenal), Anthony Gordon (Everton), Angel Gomes (Lille), Keane Lewis-Potter (Hull), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal), Cameron Archer (Preston, on loan from Aston Villa).

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