Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard would welcome reduction in foreign players in the Premier League

England trails in terms of the percentage of homegrown players playing domestically in comparison to Spain and Germany

Steven Gerrard wants to see the number of foreign players in English professional football halved.

The debate around how to increase the number of young English players coming through the ranks has been a hot topic since Greg Dyke's landmark speech one month ago.

This week the topic was back on everyone's lips again after Jack Wilshere appeared to criticise a move to determine whether Belgium-born midfielder Adnan Januzaj would be willing to play for England.

Dyke has established a commission to look at ways of boosting the talent pool in England and Gerrard has urged the FA chairman to take action.

"Greg is trying to put a structure in place to improve the statistics and credit to him," Gerrard said.

"I read something about him trying to half the number of foreigners allowed in the country and I think that is a good start."

Wilshere drew criticism from some quarters with his response to a question about Manchester United midfielder Januzaj turning out for England.

"The only people who should play for England are English people," the Arsenal midfielder said.

"If you live in England for five years it doesn't make you English. "If I went to Spain and lived there for five years I'm not going to play for Spain."

The 21-year-old, who became embroiled in a spat with South Africa-born England batsman Kevin Pietersen over the matter, has since claimed his comments have been misinterpreted.

Januzaj is eligible to play for Belgium, Turkey, Kosovo and Serbia - while it was also claimed today that he could turn out for Croatia.

The only way he will be eligible to play for England is if he stays in the country for the next five years.

The 18-year-old is yet to pledge his allegiance to one country, and Gerrard appears to have no objection to the idea of such players running out for England.

"If players become available through FIFA rules, it's only right that the FA look in to it," said the England captain, who has 105 caps.

"We need to try and gain every advantage we can to make the England team as strong as possible."

Dyke called Wilshere's comments "too extreme" on Wednesday, and admitted that the FA was looking in to reviewing its stance on foreign-born players.

England manager Roy Hodgson refused to give his view on the matter today, but he defended Wilshere's right to air his thoughts.

"We are always complaining that players don't have an opinion or that they say nothing worth listening to, so I don't think it's quite right to criticise someone for having an opinion in the first place," he said.

"The subject matter is worthy of debate and, at the end of the day, it will be a policy decision taken by the FA."

England need Wilshere to be at his best for the forthcoming qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland.

Judging by the Arsenal player's response in training, he is not letting the saga get to him.

"From my point of view, it hasn't affected Jack in any way," Hodgson added.

"His performances in training have been fine. I think he just shrugs it off as one of those things. He was asked an opinion, some people have liked it, others haven't liked it.

"He's put it behind him.

"I think England will get a lot out of him in these next two games and for a long, long time to come. Maybe training and playing is a tonic for him."

PA

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk