• World Cup

Januzaj not really English, says Hodgson

ESPN staff
May 2, 2014
Adnan Januzaj has committed to Belgium, the country of his birth © PA Photos

Roy Hodgson says he will not lose sleep over Adnan Januzaj's England snub.

The FA was keen to get Januzaj to commit his international future to England, but last week the Manchester United forward instead pledged his allegiance to Belgium - the country of his birth - with manager Marc Wilmots selecting the 19-year-old for his preliminary World Cup squad.

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Jack Wilshere has been out since breaking his foot against Denmark in March © PA Photos
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Januzaj, who could also have played for Turkey, Albania, Kosovo or Serbia, is regarded as one of the most talented teenagers in the country following an impressive breakthrough season at Old Trafford.

But Hodgson admits it would have been strange to see Januzaj commit to England - particularly when he would not have been eligible for another four years.

"If a player isn't eligible to play for England until 2018, then what's the problem if he goes and plays for someone else?'' Hodgson said of Januzaj.

"I'm sorry, but sometimes I don't see what the fuss is about. He's not English anyway - let's be fair. We can argue that, under the current FIFA rules, by 2018, he might be eligible to play for England.

"But how can you be upset in 2014 if he goes and plays for one of the other countries that he's actually eligible for? He was born and brought up in Belgium. We can't be disappointed by that.

"It would be very different if he was available to play for us and we passed up the opportunity and he went to play for Belgium. The question would be relevant. But it's not relevant when he can't play until 2018."

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