Men's Under 21s
Men's Under 21s

England U21s' new boys Phil Foden and Harvey Barnes feeling welcome in new group

Thursday 11 Oct 2018
Phil Foden has been with the England U21s squad this week

New boys Harvey Barnes and Phil Foden say they’ve quickly settled into the England U21 squad as the Young Lions aim for Euro qualification.

The pair were among three new faces in Aidy Boothroyd’s squad, alongside Reiss Nelson, as they gear up for their final two qualifiers against Andorra and Scotland.

England v Andorra
  • UEFA European U21 Championship
  • 7.45pm, Thursday 11 October
  • Proact Stadium, Chesterfield FC
  • Tickets: £10/£5
  • Live on BT Sport

It all starts on Thursday evening in Chesterfield, when any result against the Andorrans will be enough to seal England’s place at next summer’s U21 Euro Finals in Italy and San Marino.

"It’s been brilliant,” said Manchester City ace Foden.

“The lads are really nice. They are all around the first team environment now so you get to know them quite well and see what they're about. It's good to be a part of."

Barnes, currently on loan at West Bromwich Albion from Leicester City, added: “I’ve really enjoyed the first few days, settling in, meeting everybody and just getting the first few sessions underway.

“Of course, we know from these next two games we need to get the point and qualify for the tournament and then it’s all about performing at club level to make sure you make it in the summer.

“There are some great players in the squad and great players who haven’t made the squad as well, so I think there will be a lot of competition.”

Harvey Barnes has previously been capped at U20 level for the Young Lions before this month's U21 call up


Both Foden and Barnes have enjoyed lively starts to the new season at domestic level.

Foden has been in and around Pep Guardiola’s squad and recently scored his first goal for the club in an EFL Cup game at Oxford United, while Barnes has bagged five goals for the Baggies in the Championship already.

And with senior boss Gareth Southgate proving that he’s more than happy to pick players in form and both Foden and Barnes having been part of earlier success with the Young Lions, they hope the future is bright.

"It's exciting times for England because all these young kids are coming through and Gareth's not scared to give us a chance,” said Foden, who could make his U21s debut against Andorra.

Scotland v England
  • UEFA European U21 Championship
  • 5.30pm, Tuesday 16 October
  • Tynecastle, Hearts FC

“We've got a lot of quality in the team. Jadon [Sancho] has moved up now and I'm happy for him. It just shows that if you're playing well, Gareth is not scared to move you up, no matter what your age.

"It gives me confidence seeing Jadon in the senior team and that I might join him soon. I've just got to keep working hard and see what happens."

Barnes was quick to second those thoughts: “It’s great to be around England and St. George’s Park, there is the expectation now with England youth teams of doing well in the major tournaments.

“We have shown progression throughout all the age groups and there’s some really successful teams.

“For me it’s just about getting through this next week and hoping to impress and then impressing at club level to get that spot.

“A lot of players are also playing in the Premier League, so it shows the quality we have in this age group and shows you just need to take your opportunity when you get it.”

By FA Staff