Fulham defender Moritz Volz has hit back at Sepp Blatter’s proposed plan to limit the number of foreign players in the Premier League.
The Fifa president wants to see more home-grown players in domestic leagues and is keen to push through a rule which would allow clubs to select only five overseas players in their starting XI.
But Fulham utility player Volz, who left Germany as a 16-year-old to join Arsenal, believes the scheme would simply harm the Premier League.
He told The Times: “In my view it’s the Premier League that would suffer most, setting it back years.
“I believe the foreign influx has done nothing but raise the level of English players and the English game. The Premier League is now a cultural melting pot and that benefits everyone involved.
“And it’s the combination of the traditionally English with the foreign that makes it what it is. It’s the best league in the world precisely because of this cosmopolitan flavour where different styles mingle against the backdrop of English intensity and atmosphere.
“Reduce any of those elements and the Premier League wouldn’t be the same.”
And Volz believes that forcing clubs to have more English players in the first team would actually reduce standards among young players, rather than raise them.
He said: “Raising the quantity of domestic players in each team does not mean raising the quality.
“So it would be easier for English youngsters to break into a first team, but what have gained by that? It doesn’t mean the standards have gone up. If anything they will have gone down because the competition is less.
“And football is all about competition – between teams and within them. That’s how the cream rises to the top.”