England may have been provided with a boost going into the World Cup this summer, after The Daily Mirror confirmed that Bayer Leverkusen starlet Leon Bailey is eligible to play for the Three Lions.
Bailey has been in fine form this season with ten goals in all competitions, where the 22-year-old has attracted a lot of attention around Europe, with a host of Premier League sides including Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham all reportedly interested in the youngster.
It has been revealed that Bailey’s- originally from Jamaica- two grandparents hold British passports, thereby making the attacker eligible to represent England.
The FA are said to be aware of Bailey’s applicability and with Russia just three months away, he could add some much-welcomed firepower to Gareth Southgate’s squad should he decide to pledge his allegiance to England.
However, Bailey has options, with the 22-year-old not only being eligible to represent England and Jamaica, he also has heritage linking him to both Malta and Belgium.
Having said that, sources from the Bailey camp have reportedly claimed that should the FA make a formal approach for the Leverkusen man, ‘it would be hard to turn down’.
This would not be the first time that a player with Jamaican heritage has represented the England national team. Former Liverpool winger John Barnes was born in Kingston, but went on to earn 79 caps for England, scoring 11 goals along the way, earning legend status.
In the current England squad, Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling was also born in Kingston, but moved to England at the age of five.
Sterling is said to be a close friend of Baileys and, for England’s sake, will be whispering a few words in his ear from now until 18th June when England face Tunisia in their opening group match.