Gary Neville: 'Foreign footballers stunting English players' growth'

England coach Gary Neville before a training session on October 11, 2012
© PA Photos
Gary Neville claims that clubs in England should maintain faith in budding young English footballers and not replace them with foreign players.

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes that the influx of foreign footballers in the Premier League is adversely affecting the growth of young English players.

The 38-year-old, who is part of Roy Hodgson's coaching staff of the England national team, says that clubs should give more chances to local English players.

"There's a tipping point that we've gone beyond in England," BBC Sport quotes him as saying. "I think it is 35% [the proportion of English players in the Premier League] and that is too low. In Spain, it's about 63%, which sounds about right. We're maybe 20% off.

"We need to give more chances to our own. We're harming ourselves a little bit. I've watched Chelsea beat Manchester United [in the FA Youth Cup], I've watched Manchester City beat Manchester United in the Youth Cup.

"I've seen these players - Josh McEachran (on loan from Chelsea to Middlesbrough) and others. Where are they? I can't work it out. The question is, 'Is the talent being produced or is the talent being lost?' I think there are definitely pathways being blocked."

Neville made 85 appearances for England during his playing career.

England coach Gary Neville before a training session on October 11, 2012
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