Leeds United striker tipped to switch nationality with expected Spain call-up after Elland Road breakthrough

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Leeds United forward Mateo Joseph is set to be named in Spain's Under-21 squad this month, according to reports on the continent.

Spanish outlet AS claim Joseph is set to be named in Santi Denia's Under-21 side for this month's international fixtures against Slovakia and Belgium, switching allegiances from England to the country of his birth.

Joseph has represented England's Under-20 Elite League Squad this season and was named in Ian Foster's World Cup squad at that particular age group in Argentina last summer. The 20-year-old was born in the Cantabria region of Spain, coming through the youth ranks at Racing Santander and Espanyol before joining Leeds.

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The youngster, who this season has made an Elland Road breakthrough and scored two goals at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup Fifth Round, is eligible to represent Spain, England and Antigua and Barbuda through his parentage.

"The English Federation (FA) has received a notification from the RFEF [Royal Spanish Football Federation] informing that the Leeds striker, who has played with the English Under-20 team, will be called up by La Rojita after emergency nationalisation has been processed for him," AS report.

It is claimed in order to represent England at youth level, Joseph was required to renounce Spanish citizenship, however due to birth status, an emergency naturalisation process can be initiated to make him eligible for Spain once again.

Not until senior international level are players cap-tied, as per FIFA regulations, however a call-up to Spain's U21 group means Joseph will be unable to represent England again.

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"UEFA has already processed the change of federation record, so Joseph will no longer be able to play with another team other than Spain even if he never debuts with the [senior] team," AS claim. "This is because FIFA regulations only allow a change of selection to footballers who have already played an official match in lower categories with a first team and Joseph already played in the U20 World Cup with England."

Joseph developed a penchant for goalscoring last season whilst representing Leeds' U21s, netting 17 times under Michael Skubala en route to promotion from Premier League 2 Division 2. This season, he has featured as a fringe player under Daniel Farke but impressed in starts versus Plymouth Argyle and Chelsea in the FA Cup.

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