Where are Caribbean footballers now?
LONDON, England -- The Caribbean has had a strong history of producing quality players who have plied their trade in the Premier League.
Dwight Yorke is the most notable name to emerge from the region, becoming the most successful player from Trinidad and Tobago by winning the treble with Manchester United.
The forward ended his illustrious career in 2009 following a three-year spell with Sunderland, leaving a void for his nation.
Since his departure from the game, the Caribbean has been without a figurehead for football in the region, while negative headlines have also plagued the region due to the actions of former FIFA official Jack Warner.
Kenwyne Jones was on the trajectory to replace Yorke as the Premier League face of football from the Caribbean after an impressive debut season.
The striker starred for Roy Keane’s Sunderland during the 2007-08 campaign, scoring seven goals and earning plaudits for his performances as he helped the Black Cats remain in the top flight.
Chelsea skipper John Terry was one of many defenders to sing his praises for his dominance in the air, saying after a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light: "Jones was fantastic and I have played against him twice now. He is a very good player. Very hard working and probably the best in the air in the entire Premier League. He really is that good.”- John Terry "Chelsea"
However, Jones suffered a serious knee injury while representing Trinidad and Tobago against England following a challenge with David James and was never able to recapture his fine form.
The 31-year-old had a solid career with Sunderland, Stoke City and Cardiff City, but failed to live up to the expectations of his debut campaign in the top flight.
Two of the finest players to emerge from the region, John Barnes and Raheem Sterling, both committed their allegiances to England rather than Jamaica, which is the country of their birth.
Barnes was an outstanding player for Watford and Liverpool and a key contributor for the Three Lions in their run to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Sterling has begun on a similar path with Liverpool and Manchester City, although the 21-year-old is far from his peak form for club and country and more is expected as he continues to develop his game.
Having missed out on both stars, the Caribbean region has managed to keep a diamond in the rough in Wes Morgan.
The Leicester City defender has been crucial in the club’s surge towards the Premier League title and, at the time of writing, the Foxes are at 4/9 in the latest football betting odds to win their first crown.
Morgan was born in Nottingham but elected to play for Jamaica, and has the opportunity to become a figurehead for the region after being named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.
The 32-year-old has been a model professional throughout his career and his rise from the lower leagues could well be an inspiration to his international team-mates to increase the game’s popularity and quality in the Caribbean region.