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‘He’d be a big loss’ – England U-21s coach on Tariq Lamptey’s ‘imminent’ Ghana switch

England U-21 boss Lee Carsley has conceded that it would be a big loss for England if Tariq Lamptey decides to play for Ghana at the senior level over England.

The Brighton and Hove Albion right-back has asked to be excluded from the Young Lions squad that will play four Euro U-21 qualifiers next month. This is to enable him to contemplate Ghana’s approach to play for the Black Stars.

However, Carsley disclosed he has had a number of “good conversations” with Lamptey in a bid to convince him not to switch allegiance and represent the country of his parents.

Carsley said, “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.”

Lamptey would have to fight stiff competition if he decides to commit his future to England. England has a wealth of options in his position, including the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, James Justin, Kyle Walker-Peters, Tino Livramento, and more.

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.

“We’ve definitely not given up on it. But we have to respect that space as well. If head wise, he’s not in a position where he feels he can play, then we have to respect that.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve done as much as we can, but he knows where we stand with him. I think we have to respect now that he’s got a decision to make. Not only with himself, but with his family.”

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