The multinational players whose eligibility England must secure: Arsenal striker switches allegiance

·6-min read
Arsenal players Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun and Nuno Tavares Credit: Alamy
Arsenal players Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun and Nuno Tavares Credit: Alamy

England have missed out on the chance to secure the international services of Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun, with these players still being fought over.

This is not an exhaustive list of every player who is eligible to represent England and at least one other country at international level. But it is a collection of the main ones and will be periodically updated as and when other relevant players become apparent. Suggestions for other inclusions are encouraged.


Max Aarons (Norwich)
Approaches from Jamaica have been rejected by Aarons, whose 27 England youth caps, 70 Premier League appearances and previous interest from Bayern Munich and Barcelona has yet to be converted into senior international honours.


Tosin Adarabioyo (Fulham)
“I believe I should be going to the next World Cup either with England or Nigeria, that’s my target,” said the Fulham centre-half in July 2020. That ship has sailed for a Manchester City academy graduate whose Three Lions pathway was clear right up until the seniors.


Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough)
Unlikely as it sounds for a 27-year-old whose most recent of four career Premier League appearances came in February 2015, 24 Championship goals for a rampant Middlesbrough might spark interest from England and Nigeria once more.


Elliot Anderson (Newcastle)
“I’ve had a conversation with Elliot and he wants to bide his time and see what happens,” says Scotland manager Steve Clarke, who knows full what that means with regards to the Newcastle midfielder’s preference.


Folarin Balogun (Reims, on loan from Arsenal)
This seems like a battle England have lost, with the latest update being that FIFA had ratified a request from the United States for Balogun to switch his eligibility to them. Nothing is set in stone for a player who can also represent Nigeria until he makes the requisite appearances but the ball truly seems to have been dropped by the Three Lions, whose U21 manager Lee Carsley had not been given “any inkling that he’s looking elsewhere” when Balogun withdrew from selection in March.


Harvey Barnes (Leicester)
A solitary England friendly cap in October 2020 will not keep Scotland from dangling a carrot which is no longer forthcoming for the Leicester winger under Southgate.


Trevoh Chalobah (Chelsea)
It remains a vague curiosity that a centre-half with substantial Premier and Champions League experience at 23, who has captained England youth sides from the U16s through the U20s and also represented the U21s, has yet to seemingly even register on the radar of the seniors. Sierre Leone continue to quietly bide their time.


Carney Chukwuemeka (Chelsea)
Born in Austria to Nigerian parents, Chelsea midfielder Chukwuemeka has only donned England colours at youth level thus far. But the 19-year-old technically remains on the market.


Josh Dasilva (Brentford)
“I am Angolan, my parents are Angolan, they are proud of where they are from and I am proud to be Angolan. I haven’t really had any contact so I am not too sure what the situation is, but if a chance comes around we can see what happens.” Not even the experience of  winning the European U19 Championship with England in 2017 can tie Dasilva down.


Marcus Edwards (Sporting)
An extensive and stunning career rebuild since leaving Spurs
in 2019 has restored the relevance surrounding the question of Edwards’ eligibility. Cyprus is still an option for the 24-year-old but England would be foolish not to consider him.


Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace)
Having made a couple of preliminary tournament squads, Eze really ought to have bid farewell to the prospect of playing for Nigeria at international level long ago. But some rotten luck has coincided with dreadful form so things are in flux.


Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest)
One of many players Jamaica have recently hoped to tempt over, Gibbs-White has resisted such overtures and is, in the eyes of Southgate, “progressing well” with Nottingham Forest and as U21s captain.


Anthony Gordon (Newcastle)
and the Republic of Ireland are thought to be sniffing around 27-cap England youth international Gordon, who might prefer to focus on Newcastle after a difficult first couple of months as a £45m forward.


Demarai Gray (Everton)
Another player targeted by Jamaica but as yet there has been no advance on the senior call-up Gray received in September 2018, when he watched Jack Butland, James Tarkowski, Danny Rose, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck and Fabian Delph beat Switzerland 1-0 as an unused substitute.


Rico Henry (Brentford)
It would be egregious to lose an excellent left-back to Jamaica.

Brentford defender Henry Credit: Alamy
Brentford defender Henry Credit: Alamy


Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa)
Precisely the sort of player held up as proof that Southgate does not pick on form. Konsa is thriving under Unai Emery and that won’t have passed DR Congo, Angola or Portugal by.


Tino Livramento (Southampton)
Out of sight, out of mind for the injured 20-year-old, whose Scottish mother and Portuguese father slightly muddy the otherwise clear waters of 30 England youth caps from the U15s up.


Noni Madueke (Chelsea)
By the end of his seven-and-a-half year Chelsea contract, the picture should become much clearer for Madueke in terms of whether England follow up on his youth caps or Nigeria swoop in.


Dwight McNeil (Everton)
“When I see some of the other young players who are getting called up and are in and around the squad then he can’t be far away in my opinion but I’m bound to say that, I see him every day,” said Burnley manager Sean Dyche of McNeil in December 2019. The pair have been reunited to more moderate success at Everton and Jamaica might spring into action soon.


Reiss Nelson (Arsenal)
While Nelson’s impact on Arsenal’s Premier League title charge has been substantial, it will take more than 102 Premier League minutes to coax England into a battle with Zimbabwe over the former Young Lion.


Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal)
The folks at the Ghana FA must have resigned themselves to Nketiah becoming unattainable and making himself a prime Harry Kane understudy during the injury-enforced absence of Gabriel Jesus at Arsenal. But while the record England U21 goalscorer has rejected a call-up from the Black Stars before, that Three Lions pathway has closed again as his Gunners opportunities have dwindled.


Michael Olise (Crystal Palace)
“Like a lot of players with dual nationality, it is their right. We can’t guarantee them anything. We let them know that we are interested and he has chosen other paths,” said rejected U21 boss Carsley, even if there is still a glimmer of hope for England, Algeria and Nigeria for as long as Olise remains untouched by the France senior side.


Ryan Sessegnon (Spurs)
The distant cousin of 84-cap Benin international Stephane is thought to be eligible to represent The Cheetahs but Sessegnon would hope to find enough consistency with Spurs to follow up on an England youth career which saw him constantly picked above his age group.


Djed Spence (Rennes, on loan from Spurs)
“He’s like a Rolls-Royce,” Wes Morgan once said of the right-back. Perhaps Spence will be overlooked by England in the same way the Jamaica international centre-half was.


Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Man Utd)
No longer does Wan-Bissaka wait by the phone expectedly for the call from Southgate. He is firmly out of the frame when it comes to right-backs and DR Congo will presumably try their luck in the future if they haven’t already.


Joe Willock (Newcastle)
England could do far worse than include Willock in a reimagining of their midfield as a reliable squad option. The 23-year-old has played a crucial role in Newcastle’s rise and Montserrat can only be held off for so long.

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