England Under-21s interim head coach Aidy Boothroyd has named a 23-man squad for next week’s games against Italy and France.
The Young Lions begin their preparations for the Euro Finals against the Azzurri at Southampton’s St. Mary’s Stadium on Thursday 10 November before heading across the English Channel to face Les Bleus in the Paris suburbs four days later.
Boothroyd has handed first U21 call-ups to Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks and Swansea City defender Alfie Mawson.
England v Italy
7.45pm, Thursday 10 November
St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton
Click here to buy tickets
Winks has caught the eye during his appearances at White Hart Lane this term and will now be looking to add to his caps at U20, U19, U18 and U17 level, whilst this will be a first taste of international football for ex Barnsley and Brentford centre-half Mawson who joined the Swans in August.
And there will be a return to their home club for three members of the squad, with captain James Ward-Prowse, defender Jack Stephens and forward Nathan Redmond all representing Southampton in the group with the unfortunate Matt Targett missing out through injury.
There’s also a return to the squad for goalkeepers Angus Gunn and Jordan Pickford, who both missed last month’s final Euro qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Bosnia & Herzegovina through injury and a senior call-up respectively.
It was victories in those two games which secured England’s spot at next summer’s Euros in Poland, for which the preparations start with these two fixtures.
“This is what we want, to test ourselves against these sort of nations,” said Boothroyd.
The Under-21s line-up who beat Kazakhstan in Aktobe to secure Euro qualification
“As soon as the final whistle went against Bosnia in Walsall last month, we were already thinking about the preparations for next summer and trying to make sure we finish off the year with two more good performances.”
The squad will meet up at St. George’s Park on Monday before heading to the South Coast for the game with Italy.
After that, they will travel to France for the game at the Stade Robert Bobin, just outside of Paris in Bondoufle, on Monday 14 November.
Tickets for the game at St. Mary’s cost just £10 for adults and £5 for concessions and are on sale now via the Southampton FC box office.
Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn (Manchester City), Jonny Mitchell (Derby County), Jordan Pickford (Sunderland)
Defenders: Calum Chambers (Middlesbrough, loan from Arsenal), Brendan Galloway (West Bromwich Albion, loan from Everton), Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Rob Holding (Arsenal), Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Alfie Mawson (Swansea City), Jack Stephens (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), Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur)
Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Bristol City, loan from Chelsea), Demarai Gray (Leicester City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Duncan Watmore (Sunderland)