Gareth’s Ad it if we keep loaning out youngsters
FORMER England skipper Tony Adams has called for an end to the loan system in the Premier League – to help improve the national team.
Although the Three Lions have again qualified for a major tournament, securing a spot at next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia with a game to spare, serious questions remain over the depth of quality in Gareth Southgate’s squad.
Any injuries or suspensions to his regulars and Southgate struggles to find replacements of similar ability.
Adams, who was captain when England reached the last four at Euro 96, is convinced a major factor behind this lack of talent is top clubs loaning out their best homegrown youngsters.
And the ex-Arsenal star believes scrapping these deals in our top flight would significantly improve our chances at international level.
Adams, capped 66 times, said: “I would ban the loan system. I would get together with the owners of Premier League clubs and end it.
“Then you wouldn’t have 65 players at Manchester City and the young players would go to other clubs and get developed with other teams.
“Then they’ll get to sold to play for City or Arsenal when they’re ready.”
Adams reckons Eric Dier is a perfect case in point.
The Tottenham midfielder learned his trade in Portugal at Sporting Lisbon before arriving at White Hart Lane – and then progressing into the senior England set-up.
“Dier is a good example, developing at Sporting before being bought by Tottenham when he was ready,” added former Portsmouth and Granada boss Adams, 50.
“The loan system is killing English players. If you ban the loan system then overnight you’ll change the face of the game – and improve the national team’s prospects too.”
Despite those concerns, he has been relatively impressed with Southgate during his 10-month reign.
Adams, who played alongside the head coach for England, said: “Gareth’s had a resurgence but as a manager you’re only as good as the players you’ve got.
“I’m 100 per cent behind him but he hasn’t got much of a pool to choose from.” EMOTIONAL Jermain Defoe reveals he still has messages and videos of “special kid” Bradley Lowery on his mobile.
Brave Bradley lost his fight against cancer and died at just six in July after striking up a wonderful friendship with his Sunderland hero.
Defoe – now at Bournemouth – admits he will remember Bradley for the rest of his life and remains in touch with his mum Gemma and dad Carl.
Photographs of the two touched the hearts of the country and Defoe still sheds tears thinking about his “best friend”.
The striker said: “When I first met him and Gemma and they took a picture of me in the bed with him, it just went crazy.
“Coming away from Gemma and she’d say he hadn’t moved all day, that he hadn’t eaten.
“He would send messages before games and I had so many memories. Such a special boy.
“I think about him every day. I have pictures of us in my house and I still speak to Gemma and Carl. Yeah, for the rest of my life I’ll never forget him.
“I’ve got messages on my phone still, videos too. There are times when I’m at home and I still get upset. It was a tough time. He was a special kid.”
YOUNG LION: Defoe in his debut defeat to Sweden in 2004 meeting him, I always had a good feeling inside.
“There were times when I walked into the room when he jumped up.
“I’d speak to
LOAN MOAN: Tony Adams