Tariq Lamptey has snubbed a call up from England under-21s as he is considering switching his international allegiance to Ghana.
The Brighton and Hove Albion star, 21, was selected to represent the Young Lions in March for their European qualification matches against Andorra and Albania but asked to be overlooked this time around. London-born Lamptey has represented England at under-18, under-19 and under-20 level, but also qualifies to play for Ghana by virtue of his parents.
Yet to be selected by Gareth Southgate for the senior side, the young full-back could still yet switch to represent the Black Stars and is taking time to consider where his loyalties lie.
Young Lions boss Lee Carsley has revealed there is an "issue" regarding Lamptey's dual nationality but the under-21 coach has not "given up" on convincing him to stay put. Carsley told reporters: "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 headspace. He’s not switched, it’s not cemented or anything like that. 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."
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The Three Lions are blessed with an array of talent at right-back with boss Southgate naming five in his squad for the upcoming Nations League matches. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Kyle Walker, James Justin and Kieran Trippier have all been included for fixtures against Germany, Italy and a double-header versus Hungary.
It's the same in the under-21s squad. Norwich City ace Max Aarons and West Ham star Ben Johnson have both been selected to represent the Young Lions as has in-demand Middlesbrough starlet Djed Spence.
Carsley continued: "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. 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."
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