Southgate offers his advice for Under-21s on the move

Monday 01 Jun 2015
Southgate is prepared to act as a sounding board for his players this summer
Gareth Southgate is prepared to offer his advice to any England Under-21 players who look likely to be on the move this summer.

The Three Lions squad meet up at St. George’s Park on Tuesday morning to begin their preparations for the Euro Finals in Czech Republic.

UEFA Euro U21 Championship

The Finals
17-30 June 2015
Group A: Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Serbia
Group B: England, Italy, Portugal, Sweden
In Prague, Uherske Hradiste & Olomouc, Czech Republic

With the domestic campaign now wrapped up, the season of speculation over players moving between clubs has already begun.

And Southgate expects a number of his squad to be the subject of transfer-talk during June but has only one message for them: "Find somewhere where you’re going to play."

The U21s head coach said: "Sometimes players ask me for advice, so we have to be very careful because they’re not our players but I have a good relationship with them.

"I don’t want to divide players from their clubs, but if you’re out of contract, and some of them are, then my advice would be to try and find somewhere where you’re going to play.

"Obviously, there’s never a guarantee of that because at any club if you get a couple of games, it depends on how you play but in some scenarios, you’ve got a better chance of playing than others.

"Outside of that, I don’t think it’s right to interfere in that decision and the players are now of an age where they can make their own decisions, that’s part of the maturing process."

Southgate named a long list of players for the Euro Finals last month, which will be reduced to a final 23-man group for the trip on Tuesday. 

His group throughout the qualification campaign and in the warm-up games since has always had a healthy mix of players from different playing backgrounds.

There are a number of players who have been nurtured through top-flight academies and progressed through a number of England development teams over the years.

But there are also some who have emerged through the Football League and caught the eye whilst playing regular first-team football in the Championship and below.

So for Southgate, it’s almost a case of how much you play, rather than where you might be playing.

Harry Kane, right, with his England U21s team-mates

Southgate expects a number of his players will be subject to transfer speculation this summer

"We’ve got some boys who have been playing in the Championship and that’s been brilliant for their development really," he added.

"From our perspective, at the age they’re at now, I don’t think it matters what the level is. 

"But to be playing every week is really helpful and good for their development."

Southgate’s final 23-man squad will be named on Tuesday afternoon at St. George’s Park.

England will play their final Euro warm-up game on Thursday 11 June when they take on Belarus at Barnsley’s Oakwell. 

Tickets are on sale now priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions via boxoffice@barnsleyfc.co.uk or by phoning 0871 2266777.

By Nicholas Veevers