Tariq Lamptey

Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey has been called up by Ghana for the first time ahead of their friendlies with Brazil and Nicaragua later this month.

Lamptey, 21, had previously represented England at all levels from Under 18 to Under 21, featuring 20 times, but announced he was switching allegiance to Ghana in July.

The right-back qualifies for the Black Stars through his parents and joins up with their squad ahead of the Qatar World Cup, which begins on November 20.

Lamptey has made 57 appearances for the Seagulls since arriving from Chelsea in 2020 and joins Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams and Southampton defender Mohamed Salisu in being called-up for the first time.

The moves for Lamptey and Williams come as part of a reported wider plan by the Ghanaian FA and technical advisor Chris Hughton to recruit foreign-born players with Ghanaian heritage to play for the country.

Reports have emerged that Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi and Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah are two other players Hughton is targeting ahead of the World Cup where Ghana face Portugual, Uruguay and South Korea in their group.

Lamptey – who has been linked with the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal in the past, is yet to start in the Premier League this season, but has made five substitute appeareances for Graham Potter’s side.

Upon confirming his switch to Ghana in July, a statement from Ghana FA president Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku said: ‘Tariq Lamptey, Inaki Williams, Mohammed Salisu, Stephan Ambrosius, Patrick Pfeffer and Ransford Yeboah [are] available for national selection.

‘We have always maintained that we will not limit ourselves to only a small group of players but would scout top talents across the globe who are ready to sacrifice for the nation and take us to the next level.’

Meanwhile, Hughton spoke in the summer about the need to build the ‘best team possible’ ahead of the World Cup and that included looking at those born outside the country but with Ghanaian heritage.

‘It’s something that I’ll certainly get involved in the dialogue with,’ the former Brighton manager told BBC Sport Africa in May.

‘This is something the Ghanaian Football Association have been involved in for a while. So on the conversations that I might have, as regards a player that has Ghanaian parentage, the Association are fully aware and also Otto’s (Otto Addo – Ghana head coach) somebody who is very much on the pulse.

‘There are players that are playing outside of Ghana in European countries, predominantly, that do qualify.

‘The world is changing and there is far more travel between various countries, and far more individuals being brought up in a different country to what they were born in, or their parents were born.

‘That is something the FA will always have their finger on. We have to have the best team possible going forward. And if that means opening out the network, then is it is our responsibility to to do that.’

Switching allegiances away from England has become of a common theme of late, with Wilfried Zaha’s switch to Ivory Coast a famous example, but more recently they have lost Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala to Germany.

Players can switch as long as they have played three senior appearances or fewer, and those appearances came before they were 21.

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