Bringing Adnan Januzaj into England fold would be a 'quick fix' says FA commission member Danny Mills
The Manchester United youngster has sparked a debate about eligibility
Friday 11 October 2013
Football Association commission member Danny Mills believes trying to get Belgium-born Adnan Januzaj to play for England one day would be just a “quick fix to a long-term problem”.
Former England defender Mills, who played at the 2002 World Cup finals under Sven-Goran Eriksson, has been asked to join FA chairman Greg Dyke's panel.
The commission is set to examine how best to improve the fortunes of the senior national side and enable more home-grown talent to come through the domestic club system.
Former Norwich trainee Mills, who won 19 England caps and had successful spells in the top flight with Leeds and Manchester City, believes the future success of the England team has to come from within.
Debate was sparked by Arsenal's Jack Wilshere saying this week: "The only people who should play for England are English people."
Dyke would be prepared to entertain the idea of Januzaj and other foreign-born players representing England if the rules allow it.
But speaking on talkSPORT, Mills said: "I don't agree with [Dyke on] that. I don't think he [Januzaj] should be able to play for England.
"I think it is a quick fix to a long-term problem. If you start to do that, you actually detract from encouraging young English clubs to go and find English players.
"What academies will do is bring in foreign players at the age of 13, 14 that have got potential and the by the time they are 18 they can play for England."
Mills added: "If you carry on going through where we are, in another 10 or 15 years England will struggle to qualify [for major tournaments] because there won't be enough players."
Mills, 36, is looking forward to starting work on the commission, which will also include the likes of former England manager Glenn Hoddle, League Managers' Association chairman Howard Wilkinson, new Professional Footballers' Association chairman Ritchie Humphreys, Football League chairman Greg Clarke and the former Crewe Alexandra manager Dario Gradi.
"We have an opportunity now to make a change," he said.
"I like Greg's idea that we finish this [the commission] in six months. At the end of the six months, I would like to see a five, 10-point plan put in place that says these are the changes we are going to make and then it's working to enforce those changes.
"I'm not going to be afraid to put my questions forward, make my opinions known, and if I don't get answers to those questions I'll be asking why."
Hoddle has suggested a quota system should be employed in the Barclays Premier League and called for all concerned to be "ruthless" in the quest to improve England's chances of success on the international stage.
It is an idea which has received the backing of PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor.
Premier League regulations permit no more than 17 overseas players in a squad of 25 - with the exception of under-21 players of any nationality, for whom no limits apply.
Taylor feels the rules have not helped protect the home-grown players as they were intended.
Taylor told ESPN: "I would like to see a rule introduced where three or four players in a starting line-up for each club need to have come through a youth development system in whichever country they are playing in, regardless of nationality.
"We need to keep the aspiration alive for youngsters that they can reach the top of the game. This is not an anti-foreigner proposal in any way, just a bid to encourage the development of homegrown talent.
"There will be those who will instantly suggest this kind of proposal could be challenged legally by the clubs, but I am confident that employment lawyers would support it as it would be viewed as encouraging an educational and youth development programme.
"Of course, this kind of proposal would need to be introduced on a worldwide basis, so we would need to convince UEFA and FIFA to endorse it, but I feel we have reached a point where it is something we need to look at to safeguard the future fabric of our game."
Taylor added: "After speaking to the new FA chairman Greg Dyke in the last few weeks, I think there is an appreciation that the moment has come to try and bring the game back to its roots, and give the next generation of footballers a chance to succeed."
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