England has one of the highest concentration of foreign players amongst the top leagues in Europe. This is hurting the national team according to Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who recently retired from international duty in order to concentrate on his club career. Newly appointed English FA chairman Greg Dykes said recently that England will be a contender to win the World Cup in 2022 but not before that. This has started a lot of opinions from various corners of the pitch. England have not won a major tournament since the 1966 World Cup triumph.

Ferdinand has the privilege of playing along with a number of English players at Manchester United. The likes of Phil Jones, Michael Carrick, and Chris Smalling are in and around Ferdinand during every match. However, it is not the case with other top teams. The 34-year-old defender has cited the example from the recent match between Newcastle United and Manchester city. Only three home-grown players were in the starting line-up in this match, which was a disgrace according to Ferdinand. Clubs can have any number of home-grown players in the squad, but only 17 foreign players above age of 21.

Despite this, club have spent heavily on foreign talent in this transfer window.

“Having so few English players in the Premier League diminishes the English team, of course it does. Look at the Manchester City game recently against Newcastle. There was barely an English player on the pitch, three out of 22 starters. That is a disgrace. If you look at it and ask whether there should be a stipulation that you have a minimum number of players who are English, even just in your squad, I think that should happen,” said Ferdinand in a recent interview.

Ferdinand has made strong start with Manchester United this season.