Belfast Telegraph

Cahill keen to strike a balance

Gary Cahill wants more English players in the Premier League but underlined the importance of striking the right balance after plans were announced to make it harder for foreign players to secure work permits.

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke warned on Monday that the top-flight is in danger of "having nothing to do with English people" and outlined plans to help alter that.

Stricter rules, approved by the Home Office on Friday, will come into force from May 1 and intend to reduce the number of non-EU players in the Barclays Premier League, who are seen as blocking English talent.

Furthermore, Dyke hopes to persuade the Premier League to reduce the number of non-home grown players from 17 to 13 within a 25-man squad, as well as adjust the definition of 'home grown'.

The proposals were a hot topic at St George's Park as England met ahead of Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania, with Chelsea defender Cahill keen these plans do not go too far.

"I agree in some aspects," the Three Lions centre-back said. "I think it's getting that balance, isn't it?

"For me as an English player, you'd love to see English players in the Premier League, of course.

"English players getting chances at clubs is always nice, (but then there is) respecting the fact the Premier League is one of the top leagues - everyone wants to play in there and the fans want to see top players. Sometimes these top players are foreigners.

"It's about getting the mixture. I like to see English players playing in the Premier League but also there are some top quality foreign guys who come over here and perform well and fans want to see them play. I think it's the balance."

The plan to help the national team could hinder some clubs, though, with Chelsea looking like one such example given the amount of foreign talent in their ranks.

Cahill is their only player in the senior England squad right now, although he pointed to the likes of Dominic Solanke, who trained with Roy Hodgson's men, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek as potential stars.

"We've got Solanke, a young English boy at our club training with us today," he said.

"We've got Loftus-Cheek, a couple of guys in our squad. I think they'll be okay.

"It's a mixture of getting English players in the Premier League getting chances, and obviously the talent that comes from overseas which is top draw. It makes the league exciting, having a blend."

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