Ray Wilkins says that young English players are not given an opportunity at the highest level anymore

Last Updated: 23/09/13 9:39am

Ray Wilkins: wants more homegrown players to be given a chance

Ray Wilkins says that young English players are not given an opportunity at the highest level anymore.

Speaking on Goals on Sunday, Wilkins is sad that the days of numerous home grown players coming through the ranks and playing for the first team are no more.

Wilkins made 197 appearances for Chelsea between 1973 and 1979, where he scored 34 goals. He remembers his days at the club when it felt like he was always playing with his mates.

"It was always great fun to play there, we had some troubled seasons where we went up and then went down and the club was in financial ruins," said Wilkins on GOS.

"But it was like going to play with your mates week in and week out. Sometimes we had ten home grown players taking the pitch which was just fantastic. We had all been playing together since we were 15 years old

"I think it is quite sad that won't happen again. We were talking off air about Nathaniel Chalobah who has once again gone out on loan - this time to Nottingham Forest. That is a great get for Forest because he really is an up and coming player. He made his debut at 15 in Holland with Ancelotti and he did not look out of place.

"It is just a shame that he has not been given the opportunity at Chelsea to make the odd appearance and come through. Josh McEachran has been in there with Chelsea but unfortunately we do not see him too much now. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the young man to make a mark on English football.

"I could not agree more with Kammy that if you are good enough then you will play, but are we giving them the opportunity? When you see these guys play with the senior players they do not look out of place. Whether they can handle the atmosphere and the environment is another step in their education.

"But you are never going to know unless you give them two or three games. The great thing about senior players is that if they keep on giving them the ball, then they gain the respect of senior players - they know he can handle the ball. The one thing they do not want is to see a young man keep on giving the ball away. With young Josh McEachran they would all fire the ball into him because they knew he could handle it.

"I think the reason we are not seeing more of Josh is because his personality and mentality is not what it should be at the moment. He should be a more demanding midfield player. Because he has such an array of talent, he should be going to get the ball all the time and receiving the ball in tight areas because he is that good that he can handle the ball as well as anyone in the Premier league. You cannot teach anyone that, he has to take it on within himself.

"I sincerely hope we see him come again because he is a very talented young man."