England Under-21s squad named for Euro Qualifier with Norway

Thursday 25 Aug 2016
Gareth Southgate

England Under-21s get back into their Euro Qualifying campaign in Colchester next month, when Norway are the visitors in a crucial group game.

The Three Lions go into the new term on top of Group 9 with three games to go, although both Switzerland and Norway are in hot pursuit with the nation who finishes first automatically qualifying for the Euro Finals in Poland next summer.

And U21s head coach Gareth Southgate has named a 24-man squad for the game, as England look for the three points in their penultimate home fixture.

England v Norway

UEFA European U21 Championship
Group 9 Qualifier
5.45pm, Tuesday 6 September 2016
Colchester Community Stadium

£10 adults & £5 concessions
Call 0845 437 9089 or click here

There are first U21 call-ups for Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, who was considered for selection to the Toulon Tournament earlier this year until a sparkling run of late-season form propelled him into the seniors for Euro 2016 and Everton right-back Mason Holgate, who was capped by the U20s last season.

Speaking about the inclusion of 18-year-old Rashford, Southgate said: "Last season, his pathway was remarkable and we’re very conscious of plotting how we develop our young players. 

"We spoke a lot with Manchester United last season when we put him in the U20s in March, which both they and ourselves felt was the right thing at the time.

"He then continued his progress, which was great, and of course he played a part in Roy’s squad at the Euros.

"But if he’s less likely to start with the seniors at this moment in time, and Sam [Allardyce] is quite keen that people are playing regularly, we think that it’s now a good opportunity in his international development for him to be with the U21s.

Marcus Rashford celebrates his first England goal against Australia

Marcus Rashford celebrates his first England senior goal against Australia earlier this year

"Marcus is a young player and still developing so this is a big part of his international education really.

"We’ve got a good week’s work ahead with a very strong squad and we’re playing Norway, who are doing similar with their players as they’ve just named Martin Odegaard in their squad.

"We’ve had it in the past with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, John Stones and Calum Chambers joining us after being with the seniors, so it’s something we’re familiar with. 

"Marcus has a good mentality, so I know he’ll respond in the right way and we’re looking forward to working with him."

Meanwhile, Derby County midfielder Will Hughes makes a welcome return after missing the whole of last season through injury.

And Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden is also back in the squad after being first selected, and then withdrawn injured, from the group selected for the Switzerland game in March.

England Under-21s midfielder Will Hughes in action against Sweden at the Euro Finals

Will Hughes is back in the U21s squad for the first time since the Euro Finals in 2015

The Squad

Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn (Manchester City), Jordan Pickford (Sunderland), Joe Wildsmith (Sheffield Wednesday)

Defenders: Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Brendan Galloway (West Bromwich Albion, loan from Everton), Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Rob Holding (Arsenal), Mason Holgate (Everton), Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Matt Targett (Southampton)

Midfielders: Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem, loan from Chelsea), Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea), Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United), Will Hughes (Derby County), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), John Swift (Reading), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Demarai Gray (Leicester City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Dominic Solanke (Chelsea), Duncan Watmore (Sunderland)

Tickets details: Tickets are on sale now priced at just £10 for adults and £5 for concessions and are available by calling 0845 437 9089, clicking here or visiting the Colchester United ticket office.

Group bookings of 15 or more supporters can qualify for a reduced ticket at £5 for adults and £2.50 for concessions. Click here for a group booking form.

Charter Standard Clubs can claim 15 free tickets and any additional tickets at the group booking price as outlined above. Click here to take advantage of this offer.

By Nicholas Veevers