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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Morgan eyes England berth
Lionel Morgan (right) takes on a Wigan defender
Morgan (right) will be back in action around Christmas

Wimbledon midfielder Lionel Morgan insists he has what it takes to reach the top of the game and play for England.

Morgan, 19, has already won three England U-19 caps and scored against Germany.

The talented left-footer has already attracted offers from Premiership side Spurs, but they were quickly rebuffed by Wimbledon.

Many observers at the First Division club have backed Morgan to scale the heights.

And he believes his hunger to keep learning about the game and his will to succeed could eventually prove them right.

"I'd like to go as far as people say I can go. I want to play for England," he said.

  Lionel Morgan factfile:
Born: Tottenham
DoB: 17/2/1983
Height: 5ft 7in
Weight: 10st 4lb
Signed: 1/7/2000
First team debut: 26/8/2000
Appearances: 17
Last game: 4/4/2002
International honours: Three England U-19 caps

"The day I retire is the day I stop learning."

To this end, Morgan is already eyeing a spell abroad to expose himself to other styles of football as part of the learning process.

"Going abroad might suit me. Their style of play is a bit slower. You can improve by going abroad," he said.

And the way he sees it, the only limitations to succees are those imposed by the individual themself.

He said: "Your will and determination to do well (are key). I've got the will."

Morgan has mainly featured on the left wing for England, although he says he feels more comfortable in midfield.

"On the wing you have to rely on people for the ball. I'm totally different when I play centre midfield," he said.

Seen as a spontaneous player who does exciting things on the ball, he insists he can also conform to a system.

"I'd say I can fit into what the manager wants me to do, but I do like to do my own thing," he said.


With each injury I come back from I seem to be stronger
Lionel Morgan

Morgan joined Wimbledon aged 10 and has come through the academy set-up, making his first team debut in August 2000 at 17.

He thinks there are definite advantages to signing for a smaller club when it comes to making the first-team breakthrough.

"It's good to be at a smaller club learning your trade, you've got a good chance of getting in," he said.

But appearances in the first team have been limited to 17 matches due to a series of injuries, the latest being damaged knee ligaments in April.

He is now back in training and hopes to be back by Christmas but refuses to let the setbacks get him down.

"With each injury I come back from I seem to be stronger," he said.

"But there are too many games, too many friendlies. It's too much."

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