Fabregas calls on English to quit comfort zone
England's failure to qualify for the 2008 European Championships has led to plenty of soul-searching in recent weeks.sports Updated: Dec 15, 2007 19:16 IST
Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas has suggested the lack of English players trying to improve themselves abroad may be just as harmful to the English game as the steady influx of foreigners in the Premier League.
The Spanish midfielder is one of many foreigners plying their trade in the world's richest league - a situation which some believe has stifled local talent and therefore played a role in England's failings.
England's failure to qualify for the 2008 European Championships has led to plenty of soul-searching in recent weeks.
And amidst the search for a new England manager, following the sacking of Englishman Steve McClaren, it was highlighted that much English talent has been overlooked in favour of foreign imports.
But Fabregas, who could be set for a return to the Arsenal side for Sunday's showdown with Chelsea having appeared to shake off a hamstring injury, believes English players would improve their game if they were to try their hand abroad.
"I don't see a lot of players taking the risk to go out of the country and to try to fight for their chance," Fabregas, who famously left his homeland at the age of 16 to join Arsenal, told The Times on Saturday.
"It looks like they are comfortable where they are and that is it. For me, I had to leave my country to fight for my life and my chance and my dream.
"Sometimes that is what you have to do, but I don't see a lot of English players going to Spain or Italy."
While players from Spain, France and Italy are generally considered more technically astute than their English counterparts, Fabregas, 20, believes the English could step up and make it in foreign leagues.
"Sometimes you have to take a step back to go one forward and sometimes they are just comfortable with what they have," added the Spaniard, who has emerged as one of the Gunners most potent goalscorers this season.
"... there are amazing players in England. If they had the chance to go to another country and they could do it; there would be more English players who are great."
On Friday the search for McClaren's successor ended when the Football Assocation (FA) appointed Italian Fabio Capello as the new England manager.