Redknapp against Almunia call-up
Harry Redknapp believes allowing foreign-born players to play for England would damage the English game.
Last Updated: 01/05/09 5:38pm
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes allowing foreign-born players to represent the national team would be detrimental to the English game.
Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia completes five years' residency in England this summer and having not represented his native Spain, he would be eligible for England selection.
Most major nations at Euro 2008 fielded a foreign-born player, with winners Spain themselves featuring Brazilian-born midfielder Marcos Senna, who played a key role in their success.
However, Redknapp feels that if Almunia were to play for England it would encourage more foreign players to come to the Premier League.
And the Spurs boss reckons that would not only block the way for emerging domestic players to represent their country but also make it difficult for them to establish themselves as regulars for their club.
"I think if players come and play for an English club and they're here for five years, I don't see how they should play for England," he told Sky Sports News.
"That's my view and nothing will change my opinion on that one.
"It's difficult enough for home-grown players to get in the Premier League at the moment.
"We've got lots of foreign players here now but if we start letting people come here for five years and start playing for England then we could end up with a team of foreign players in a few years, and that's something I wouldn't want to see.
"If they're good enough, they should play for their own country. I don't see how they should qualify to play for England."
Almunia has been denied a call-up by Spain with Real Madrid star Iker Casillas and Liverpool's Pepe Reina above him in the pecking order.