‘Lack of home players in Premier League’

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Gareth Southgate has been in charge of England for four matches on a permanent basis, winning one and losing one

England manager Gareth Southgate says the lack of English players in the Premier League is one of the biggest challenges of his job.

Figures from 2016 show that just over 33% of top-flight players are English.

“The more English players we have in the Premier League, and at the highest level, gives us the best depth to pick from,” Southgate told BBC Sport.

He also said youth players need more games in the league, on the back of England Under-20s’ World Cup win.

“It’s key, you can have the best education system going but if people don’t have the opportunity to display what they can do, then it’s difficult for them to develop onto the next bit,” he said.

“Hopefully the clubs have seen this summer that our young players are as good as any from across Europe and the rest of the world.”

Southgate was appointed as England manager on a four-year contract in November last year, after a spell as caretaker boss.

He says a change in mindset is needed for England to play better at major tournaments.

“Over 25 years we’ve only won three knockout matches, so that shows the size of the task ahead of us,” he said.

“That’s what we’re working towards. Trying to get the players to think a bit differently, work a bit differently.”


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