MIDFIELDER Jack Wilshere has criticised the Football Association’s plans to recruit teenage Belgian midfielder Adnan Januzaj stating his belief that only born and bred Englishman should play for the national team.
Januzaj, 18, has made an eye-catching start to the season with Manchester United and scored twice in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Sunderland.
That led to England boss Roy Hodgson admitting they “had their eyes” on his development, while United boss David Moyes confirmed the FA had been in touch with the champions to decipher his eligibility.
However, Wilshere is adamant allowing uncapped players to switch allegiance after five years residency, as set out in world governing body Fifa’s rules, is wrong and would lead to England losing its identity.
“England should stick to what they have got,” he said. “We have to remember what we are. We are English and we tackle hard and we are tough on the pitch and we are hard to beat. We have great characters.
“For me, if you are English you are English and you play for England. The only people who should play for England are English people. If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English. You shouldn’t play.”
On the pitch, Wilshere believes in-form strikers Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney are finally ready to re-launch their partnership and fire England to World Cup qualification.
The domestic rivals have spent only 33 minutes playing alongside each other for the national team with manager Roy Hodgson having tried several frontline permutations since Sturridge made his debut almost two years ago in a friendly against Sweden.
Rooney has hit five goals in his last six games for Manchester United while Sturridge has scored eight times in nine outings.
And with the pair fully fit and in prolific form Wilshere believes their combination up front can help deliver the six points required against Montenegro and Poland to send England to next summer’s World Cup.
“We’ve got Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney back, which will be massive,” he said. “You want your best players available.
“Rickie Lambert has done a great job. He scored a couple and he played well in Ukraine. And then you’ve got Jermain Defoe, who can score from any position, and Danny Welbeck has been looking sharp in training. It can only be good for us.”
Meanwhile Wilshere, pictured smoking a cigarette on a night out in London last week, admits he has learned his lesson from the incident and now hopes to move on.
“I’ve learnt that you’ve just got to concentrate on your football,” added the 21-year-old.
“You’re a footballer at the end of the day and when it comes to the weekend you’ve got to be ready.
“Players and young people make mistakes and I made a mistake.”