Calling all players: Who could Singapore naturalise?
During former Singapore coach Bernd Stange’s three-year reign, the Lions mainly featured local-born players. In recent times, only Chinese-born midfielder Qiu Li and veteran defender Daniel Bennett, who started life in England, have donned the Singaporean uniform.
Further back, players like Agu Casmir (born in Nigeria), Shi Jiayi (China) and Itimi Dickson (Nigeria) were also granted the honour of wearing the national strip.
This Japanese came to the S.League in 2013 and he has consistently been one of the top performers.
The playmaker has caught the eye with his silky movements and eye for passes, leading Albirex Niigata to glory in 2016.
FAS head youth coach Fandi Ahmad also recently shared that Nagasaki was on the association's radar and at 27, Nagasaki will have much to offer in the years to come.
The Japanese is into his fifth year in Singapore, so he has met one of FIFA's criteria of naturalised players being able to represent an adopted country only if they have resided in that country for five years or more.
This is a no-brainer, considering the Canadian has been clamouring for a Singapore passport since 2016.
Webb came to Singapore in 2010 as a fresh-eyed youngster trying to carve out a career for himself and he did handsomely, initially with Hougang United and then Home United.
His talents did not go unnoticed and he was then signed to the Young Lions in 2014, with plans for him to earn citizenship under the Foreign Talent Scheme.
The speedy winger then had a stop at Tampines before moving to Warriors FC in 2017 and at the age of 29, he is still waiting for a passport.
Into his eighth year residing in Singapore, Webb is immediately available for selection for the national team, should he get the required paperwork done.
It is unclear why FAS have not started the process to naturalise Webb, but this move will not make much sense if Webb goes into his 30s.