FORMER ENGLAND Under-21 captain Jake Clarke-Salter has admitted that that he would be open to playing for Stephen Kenny's Ireland squad in the future.
Clarke-Salter (24) currently ply's his trade at Championship club Queens Park Rangers and spoke to the Athletic about making the switch.
The former Chelsea centre back won the U20 World Cup and captained England at the U21 Euros in 2017 and qualifies through his Irish grandmother.
Interview with Jake Clarke-Salter on:
• finding out he was leaving #CFC on twitter
• how Michael Beale convinced him to join #QPR
• why loans had ups and downs
• his international aims & how ex England U-21 captain could now play for another country https://t.co/xZCHZ857Dl
— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) June 28, 2022
Clarke-Salter faces stiff competition from a number of defenders in England to get into Gareth Southgate's squad.
The former Chelsea graduate sits behind the likes John Stones, Harry Maguire, Marc Guéhi, and many others in the pecking order.
Explaining his stance to the outlet Clarke-Salter said: “My grandma was born in Ireland and all those on my mum’s side are pretty much Irish, so I qualify for Ireland as well. I haven’t told anyone in the game that before, you are the first! I would be open to it, yes. It is international football, so I want to play.
“I just have to keep doing my thing on the pitch and if Ireland come calling, then me and my family will have to have a conversation. They have always supported me when I’ve played for the younger England age groups, but they encourage me to play for Ireland now too!
“When you’re a kid, you dream of playing in a European Championships or a World Cup. I’ve done it at youth level, so it is only natural for me to want to do it at senior level as well.”
Clarke-Salter may also have to battle it out with QPR and potential teammates Jimmy Dunne and Conor Masterson, but before that he still hasn't given up on representing his birth country .
“I see some of the players around the England camp and they didn’t get caps until they were 26-27. I look at people like Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings for inspiration that I can do what they did. It will always be an ambition to get an international cap.”
Jake Clarke-Salter has expressed a desire to declare for Ireland
▫️Chelsea academy graduate
▫️ 24 year old CB at QPR
▫️Won the U20 World Cup and captained England at the U21 Euros
▫️Qualifies through his grandmother
Interesting 👀🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/bEvfXiVLAw
— IP🇮🇪⚽️ (@IrishPropaganda) June 29, 2022