Man Utd legend calls for cap on foreign players in Premier League
A Manchester United legend has called for the Premier League to cap the number of foreign players allowed on each team to provide greater opportunities for homegrown English talent.
English nationals make up fewer than 30 per cent of players contracted to clubs in the 2018/19 Premier League season.
Gordon Hill, a 100-game veteran of the Red Devils, told Macquarie Sports Radio the Premier League must act to prevent overseas imports from “blocking the pathway” of local talent to compete in their own country’s top division.
“It’s a Premier League played in England. It’s a foreign league, played in England now,” Hill told Macquarie Sports Radio‘s Cam Reddin.
“Any country would want to see their youngsters making ground… but we’re not looking after our domestic players,” he said.
England manager Gareth Southgate has recently flagged his concern about selecting Championship players for the national side, since there were not enough English players competing in the Premier League.
“The Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga. These leagues all fall behind the Premiership, so you have an influx of players coming in,” Hill said.
“Young [local] players never get to see first team football and that really frustrates me,” he said.
The Premier League already has a ‘miniature quota’ known as the Homegrown Player Rule.
Under the rule, Premier League clubs are required to have no fewer than eight players in their squad considered to be ‘homegrown’,
However, according to the definition, players do not have to be English-born to be considered a homegrown player. A player is required to have been contracted to an English club for at least three years before turning 18.
That means superstars like Cesc Fabregas, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba all qualify as ‘homegrown’ players, despite their ineligibility to play for England.
Hill believes replacing the minimum requirement for homegrown players with a limit on the number of imported players would free up squad space for English juniors to work their way into the first team.
“That means most clubs will have to [import] the elite, or the very, very best,” Hill said.
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