Wales Worry Over Liverpool Defender's England Chance

Last updated : 19 August 2020 By Three Lions

Persuading players who are eligible for your national team to switch or maintain allegiances has become an important job for an international manager.

Back in 2018, West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice chose England over the Republic of Ireland despite having already won caps at senior level for Eire.

It was a big decision for the then 19-year-old, one that was made possible by the FIFA ruling that allows a player to switch allegiances once if they have not played in a competitive international fixture.

That is the situation that highly-rated Liverpool youngster Neco Williams finds himself in, the defender having represented Wales at youth level but being eligible for England through his grandparents.

A call-up to the next Wales squad, for Nations League fixtures in September, has been tipped and former Welsh international John Hartson told BBC Sport Wales recently: "He's played at the younger levels. I hope that he will commit himself to Wales and I wouldn't be surprised if he featured in the next two games."

In a fast-changing world where people move to different countries more often or are born to parents of different nationalities it is a scenario that will continue to crop up.

And, although the lack of top-flight playing time for England’s pool of players has improved in the past couple of years, it is no surprise that no stone is left unturned in the search for new faces.