Premier League • England

England U21 star Tariq Lamptey asked for ‘head space’ after approach from Africans

Tariq Lamptey Brighton May 2022

Brighton star Tariq Lamptey is “considering” his international future with England after being approached by Ghana.

The right-back has asked to be left out of Lee Carsley’s England Under-21s squad in the meantime after the Black Stars asked him to switch allegiance.

Lamptey, 21, has been capped at England youth level from under-18 to under-21. But he qualifies for Ghana through his parents and he has asked for some “head space” to make a decision.

“He’s had an approach. It’s something he’s considering at the minute,” said Carsley.

“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 (from Ghana), 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.

“You have to treat each player as an individual. In my time while I’ve been head coach of the 21s, I don’t think we’ve had him available yet.

“I had him a couple of times when I was assisting before. I’ve seen what a talent he is. He’s got a lot of ability.

“We think really highly of him but ultimately it’s got to be down to that personal preference of not only where he sees it but where his family sees it as well.”

Carsley not given up on Lamptey

Lamptey, who was linked with Man Utd in January, has two Under-21 caps, but Carsley, who is desperate for the speedy Brighton defender to stay, admits he cannot offer the player any guarantees.

“You have to respect that as well,” he added. “We can only let them know when they’re on camp and off camp how important they are to us. We can never make any guarantees.

“I think it’s unfair in football to do that but I’ve had some really good conversations over the last few days with Tariq. He’s a very level-headed, sensible kid. It’s not like you can see him going one way one day and the next changing like the wind.

“We’ve definitely not given up on it but we have to respect that space as well. If head wise he’s not in a position where he feels he can play, then we have to respect that.

“To be fair, I have rang him every day! I probably shouldn’t have, I probably pushed him!

“You can only make it clear so many times. He knows where we stand with him. I think we have to respect now that he’s got a decision to make. Not only with himself, but with his family.”

New call-ups

Aston Villa striker Cameron Archer has been handed his first call up. As has Manchester City goalkeeper James Trafford, who has been on loan at Bolton.

The Young Lions are second in Group G qualifying for Euro 2023, three points behind the Czech Republic with two games in hand.

Carsley’s side go to Ceske Budejovice on June 3. They then host Albania and face Kosovo at home before taking on Slovenia at home on June 13.

England Under-21 squad: Bursik (Stoke), Trafford (Manchester City, on loan at Bolton), Rushworth (Brighton, on loan at Walsall), Aarons (Norwich), Cresswell (Leeds), Harwood-Bellis (Manchester City, on loan at Stoke), Colwill (Chelsea, on loan at Huddersfield), Hill (Bournemouth), Thomas (Leicester), Spence (Middlesbrough, on loan at Nottingham Forest), Johnson (West Ham), Sessegnon (Tottenham), Doyle (Manchester City, on loan at Cardiff), Garner (Manchester United, on loan at Nottingham Forest), Ramsey (Aston Villa), Jones (Liverpool), Elliott (Liverpool), Gibbs-White (Wolves, on loan at Sheffield United), Balogun (Arsenal), Gordon (Everton), Gomes (Lille), Lewis-Potter (Hull), Smith Rowe (Arsenal), Archer (Aston Villa, on loan at Preston).