O'Neill hails foreign stars

Image: O'Neill: Happy with standard of league

Martin O'Neill believes the number of foreign players in the Premier League could benefit the England team.

Villa boss not worried by shortage of England players in top-flight

Martin O'Neill believes the increased number of foreign players in the Premier League could actually benefit the England team. There has been some debate about the issue of players from overseas, with some of the top Englishmen struggling to establish themselves at club level. But the Aston Villa boss insists that foreign players have helped to raise the standard of the Premier League. He therefore believes the homegrown stars who succeed for their clubs are more ready to make the step up and play for their countries. "The number of foreign players in the Premier League might be reducing the amount of places available for English players, but at the same time it's making sure the ones who do come through are of a higher standard," O'Neill explained in the Daily Express.

Enriched

"The introduction of top-quality players can only be good for our game. You can't tell me Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Eric Cantona have not enriched our league, because they have. "The problem is if you get a group of less gifted foreigners coming through, but my genuine belief is that if a player is good enough and he gets an opportunity he will come through. "Sometimes they might need more games and maybe at Chelsea or Manchester United, where every single minute is so important, it is more difficult. "But if the players are good enough they will come through. Frank Lampard and John Terry are classic examples of that."

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