Southampton: Saints man could make national team switch for World Cup

Southampton forward Nathan Redmond could make a national team switch to Jamaica ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

This is according to a report from the Daily Mail, which outlines an ambitious recruitment drive of top level players in England by the Reggae Boyz ahead of their CONCACAF qualification campaign for next year’s tournament.

Other players named as potential targets are West Ham’s Michail Antonio, Norwich’s Max Aarons, Bayer Leverkusen’s Demarai Gray, Everton’s Mason Holgate and Newcastle’s Isaac Hayden – all of whom are yet to make a competitive senior appearance for England like Redmond.

It remains to be seen which players will be taking up the offer to play for Jamaica, but a positive update from Jamaica Football Federation president Michael Ricketts reveals that a host of players, including Nathan Redmond, are in the process of acquiring Jamaican passports to enable them to make the switch.

Nathan Redmond of Southampton (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

This intriguing story only goes to show the lack of opportunity that some players have when looking to break into the England setup right now.

The strength of the group available to Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has improved in recent seasons and it is still the case that players playing for bigger teams are looked at before others.

For this reason, it appears that some of those potentially eligible for Jamaica have taken the chance to move on and forge an international career with a team that they can get more minutes with.

The lack of chances for players at clubs below the elite is also even more relevant for those in the Championship and below – Andre Gray, Liam Moore and Ivan Toney have also been contacted by the JFF after their performances in the second-tier of English football.

Jamaica will join CONCACAF qualifying in the third-round along with Mexico, the United States, Honduras and Costa Rica. A round-robin format sees three other teams in a league with these five top ranked sides to decide who will advance to the 2022 World Cup finals.