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Rosenthal called up by Israel U21s

English-born Tom Rosenthal has been named in Israel’s under-21 squad for the Euro 2019 qualifiers against Germany and Norway.

    Tom Rosenthal (right) is hoping to follow in his father's footsteps. (Photo: Bernard Demoulin)
    Tom Rosenthal (right) is hoping to follow in his father's footsteps. (Photo: Bernard Demoulin)

    The 21-year-old midfielder, who currently plays for Dutch second-tier team Dordrecht, has been in Israel this week, accompanied by his father, Ronny, the former Liverpool, Spurs and Watford striker.

    Having previously appeared for the Belgian U18 and U19 teams — where he scored three goals — and played for Watford and QPR, Rosenthal missed all of last season through injury and he appears to have slipped out of contention for the Belgium U21 team. He has Belgian citizenship through his mother, Nancy. Rosenthal has received permission from Fifa and Uefa to switch allegiances to Israel, for whom dad Ronny earned 60 caps.

    Tom Rosenthal said: “My dream at the moment is to play for the Israel national team and I’d also like to play in Israel’s Premier League.”

    On comparisons with his father, Tom said: “He was a striker and needed to be fast in one-on-one situations. I’m a midfielder so good technique is more important for me and the ability to give the passes that make the goals.”

    Asked why his son had not settled in one country, Ronny Rosenthal commented: “You can’t build a career in just one country. You need to move around to improve your football. Tom is a very intelligent and fast-thinking player but he needs to be more aggressive.”

    Israel U21s lie in fourth place in Group Five after five matches, trailing Germany by five points and Ireland by three points but they could leapfrog third-placed Norway, who currently lie one point ahead.

    Israel U17 manager Alon Hazan will take temporary charge of the full national team for tomorrow’s friendly against Romania in Netanya. A permanent appointment is expected in the coming months, with Hapoel Beer Sheva’s Barak Bakhar top of the IFA wish-list.    

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