England Under-21 manager Lee Carsley has confirmed that Brighton right-back Tariq Lamptey asked to be left out of his latest squad because he is considering an approach from Ghana to represent them.
The 21-year-old has represented England from Under-18 to Under-21 level, picking up two caps for the latter in late 2020 – his final appearance in any England shirt.
He was expected to feature in Carsley’s latest squad but was a surprise omission, and the boss has now confirmed that it was Lamptey’s decision not to feature.
“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 head space. He’s not switched, it’s not cemented or anything like that. But he’s had an approach, 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.”
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.”
It was reported earlier this month that Arsenal‘s Eddie Nketiah and Chelsea‘s Callum Hudson-Odoi had agreed to switch allegiances to Ghana after the African side booked a spot in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.