Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey asks to be left OUT of the England U21 squad after being approached by Ghana… but Young Lions boss Lee Carsley insists ‘it’s not something we’ve given up on’
- Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey requested to be left out of England U21 squad
- The 21-year-old has been approached by Ghana about switching allegiances
- Young Lions boss Lee Carsley reveals they have had conversations with Lamptey
Brighton full-back Tariq Lamptey has requested to be left out of the England Under-21 squad after being approached by Ghana to switch allegiances.
The 21-year-old was due to be in Lee Carsley’s Young Lions squad for the upcoming four European Championship qualifiers against Czech Republic, Albania, Kosovo and Slovenia.
Instead, he has opted out of linking up with the squad as he decides whether to represent the Black Stars or the Three Lions going forward.
Tariq Lamptey requested to be left out of the England U21s after being approached by Ghana
Lamptey has been influential to Graham Potter’s Seagulls this season, making 32 appearances in all competitions and helping them finish ninth in the Premier League.
Young Lions boss Carsley told The Sun: ‘There’s an issue over his dual nationality. He’s had an approach. It’s something he’s considering at the minute.
‘He’s asked to be left out of the squad for a bit of head space. He’s not switched, it’s not cemented or anything like that.
Young Lions boss Lee Carsley (pictured) reveals they have had conversations with Lamptey
‘But he’s had an approach (from Ghana), we have to respect that.
‘We’ve made it clear how important we see him to us. I know the seniors have as well.
‘It’s not something that we’ve given up on. Tariq is fully aware of how important we see him.’
Lamptey, however, may feel he has a better chance of playing tournament football with Ghana due to the wealth of talent that England possess at right-back.
The Three Lions have the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, James Justin and Kyle Walker-Peters already among the ranks.
England has a wealth of talent at right-back including Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (left) and Chelsea’s Reece James (right) among many others
Even in the U21 squad, they have Nottingham Forest loanee Djed Spence, Norwich’s Max Aarons and Ben Johnson of West Ham.
But Carsley has insisted he and England boss Gareth Southgate have spoken to Lamptey about his potential decision.
‘I’ve definitely got to give him a bit of space now. We’ve got a squad of players there that are desperate to play for England.
‘I wouldn’t want to leave one out to bring one in that’s unsure, I don’t think that’s fair.
‘But the opposite to that is Tariq is a big player for us and we see a real future for him within the pathway, so I’ll definitely be going back to him.
The Young Lions boss Carsley feels Lamptey would be a big loss for both the U21s and seniors
‘He would be a big loss. We do have some really good right-backs but that doesn’t mean we should become blasé about our players.
‘We see Tariq as an important player for not potentially only the senior team but the 21s as well.’
Switching allegiances is more of a common theme of late, which has affected the Three Lions in the past, with Wilfried Zaha’s switch to Ivory Coast a famous example, but more recently they have lost Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala to Germany.
Players can switch as long as they have played three senior appearances or fewer, and those appearances came before they were 21 – therefore the likes of Marc Guehi and Callum Hudson-Odoi could still switch allegiances.
Marc Guehi (left) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (right) could still switch allegiances from England
Carsley added: ‘One thing we don’t want to do is force people to play for England.
‘We can only let them know when they’re on camp and off camp how important they are to us. We can never make any guarantees.
‘I think it’s unfair in football to do that. But I’ve had some really good conversations over the last few days with Tariq.
‘He’s a very level-headed, sensible kid. It’s not like you can see him going one way one day and the next changing like the wind.’