Manchester United’s new teenage sensation, Adnan Januzaj, doesn’t seem to have made a new friend in Jack Wilshere as the 21-yr-old Arsenal player has protested against the possible inclusion of the teenage Man Utd player in a future England team selection.
Januzaj, (pronounced Yan-a-zai) is in a unique position as he is eligible to play for a total of five different European countries, Belgium, Albania, Turkey, Serbia and England but is yet to lace boots for any.
Born in Brussels 5th February 1995 to Albanian-Kosovan parents Adnan joined Anderlecht Youth in 2005 for six years before he was snapped up by Man Utd for a reported fee of about £300,000.
Januzaj qualifies to play for his birth country Belgium, for Albania through his Kosovan-Albanian parents, Turkey through his grandparents and Serbia as Kosovo’s independence has not been recognised by the United Nations. Kosovo’s national team are not members of Uefa or Fifa.
Also, the sport’s governing body, states a player is eligible if “he has lived continuously for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant association”.
That would mean Januzaj would have to wait until 2018 to represent England, assuming he remains in the country until he turns 23, which is exactly what Jack Wilshere hopes will never happen.
Wilshere currently plays as a midfielder for Arsenal and has been selected as part of the England squad to face Montenegro on Friday.
“If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English,” Arsenal’s Wilshere, 21, said.
“If I went to Spain and lived there for five years I’m not going to play for Spain.”
“We are English. We tackle hard, are tough on the pitch and are hard to beat.
“We have great characters. You think of Spain and you think technical but you think of England and you think they are brave and they tackle hard. We have to remember that.
“The only people who should play for England are English people.”
Wilshere has denied being a smoker despite being photographed smoking outside a nightclub recently.
“I made a mistake. Players make mistakes, I’m not a smoker,” Wilshere protested on the Arsenal Website.
Let’s hope he will, one day in future, put his “patriotic” outburst against Januzaj down to another mistake.