Without any context, if you were to see a headline which was referring to something negative with “absolutely riddled with foreigners”, you would presume it was some dim-witted right-wing article, someone blathering on about inaccuracies relating to immigration.

However, it was Paul Scholes who made these remarks, after Manchester City became the first team this season to not name a single Englishman in their starting XI in Wednesday’s League Cup game against Crystal Palace.

While his sentiment might be more harmless, in the sense that local players aren’t getting the opportunities to develop that they should, as players from abroad have their spot, meaning fewer players are being developed for the national team. But he probably should have chosen his words better.

You look at under-16s or under-17s and it’s absolutely riddled with foreign players. What chance does that give to young English players? It gives them virtually no chance. You look at Chelsea and Arsenal’s youth teams and you do well to spot an English player. It’s really sad. There are hardly any players to play for us. It’s nowhere near what it should be and you can see why we struggle.

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