Sam Johnstone wants a place in Stuart Pearce's squad for Israel next summer
by Glenn Lavery
The draw for the Under-21 Euros takes place in Israel on Wednesday afternoon and one player hoping to work his way into Stuart Pearce’s squad for the tournament is goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
The Manchester United youngster earned a number of caps at U17 and U19 level before being drafted in to the Under-21s for the first time earlier this month, ahead of the friendly against Northern Ireland in Blackpool.
Johnstone is starting to make an impression at Old Trafford, too, and he has been named in two of United’s Champions League squads this season.
He said: “I was happy to get the [Under-21] call-up, to know that I was in Stuart Pearce’s thoughts.
“But Ben [Amos] and Jason [Steele] are obviously older than me and playing regularly in the Championship so I know I’ll have to bide my time.
“Having lads in the squad that I know like Benik [Afobe], Nick Powell, Andre [Wisdom], Jack Robinson, Josh [McEachran] and Connor [Wickham] helped me to settle quite quickly.
“It was a good experience for me and I hope there’s more to come, especially with the Euros coming up.”
England qualified for the Euros after beating Serbia in a two-legged play-off in October. It will be their fourth straight appearance at the Finals – a feat not matched by any other nation.
The tournament takes place between 5–18 June in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Netanya and Petach Tikva.
England won the Under-21 Euros under Dave Sexton’s management in both 1982 and 1984 and they finished runners-up to Germany in 2009.