Players who could have played for England
England are thought to be keeping a close eye on Borussia Dortmund youngster Giovanni Reyna. The 17-year-old attacking midfielder is eligible to represent the Three Lions, USA, Portugal and Argentina, with the FA now taking steps to potentially bring him under their flag in the future. So, in honour of Reyna’s possible England future, we’ve taken a look back at some other players across Europe who could have represented the Three Lions.
Gareth Bale is Wales through and through, but the Real Madrid man had the chance to represent England. He held eligibility through his English grandmother but went on to make his Wales debut back in 2006.
Victor Moses played for England through various youth levels and looked like he had a real chance of breaking into the Three Lions senior side in 2017. However, the versatile winger decided to represent Nigeria instead!
Former Tottenham Hotspur man Lewis Holtby, now with Blackburn Rovers, is another who could have turned out for England. The midfielder’s dad is a die-hard Everton supporter, but even his father couldn’t persuade him to represent the Three Lions. He earned three senior caps for Germany over a two year period.
Adnan Januzaj was tipped as the next big thing when he broke through at Manchester United and could’ve represented England, Albania and even Kosovo. However, despite the FA’s best efforts, the winger went on to represent Belgium and scored against the Three Lions at the 2018 World Cup!
Simone Perrotta was born in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester and could’ve played for England. However, he chose to represent Italy, with the midfielder starting all of the games in Italy’s 2006 World Cup triumph.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta caught England’s eye when he was plying his trade with Everton and was yet to be capped by Spain at senior level. However, a FIFA rule change in 2010 stopped any progress in the midfielder playing for the Three Lions.
Sven-Goran Eriksson was interested in former Manchester United striker Louis Saha during his tenure in charge of the Three Lions. The Swede attempted to persuade Saha to apply for British citizenship, however, the forward remained loyal to France during his eight-year international career.
Former Arsenal shot-stopper Manuel Almunia never played international football during his 15-year career, but the Spaniard was reportedly keen on applying for British citizenship during his time in England. That never materialised and he ended up sticking to club football.
Born and raised in Nottingham, Leicester defender Wes Morgan could have turned out for England. However, in 2013, he decided to represent Jamaica. He starred for the Foxes during their Premier League triumph in 2016 and may have been considered by Roy Hodgson if eligible.
Former Arsenal midfielder Edu is now a technical director at the Emirates, and he picked up a British passport during his playing career in north London. Edu considered a switch of allegiance to England, however, Brazil then called him up to the senior squad in 2004.
Steed Malbranque played for the likes of Fulham, Tottenham and Sunderland during his club career but never made an appearance for France. The winger could have turned out for England after spending nine years in the Premier League, however, he decided against the possibility of representing the Three Lions.
Sam Allardyce’s time in charge of England was short-lived, but he admitted he looked into the possibility of getting midfielder Steven N’Zonzi into the senior setup. However, following Allardyce’s dismissal, nothing ever materialised and N’Zonzi went on to help France win the World Cup in 2018 after making his debut a year prior.
Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini plied his trade in England for 12 years with Chelsea and Tottenham. The FA were reportedly interested in the shot-stopper’s international services, however, a FIFA rule change in 2010 halted their plans.
Liverpool’s Ben Woodburn made a dream international debut for Wales in 2017, becoming the second-youngest player to score for his country. However, the winger could have played for England due to the nationality of his parents and was offered an Under-16 call up by the Three Lions in 2014.