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

England U21s kick-off a new campaign and Aidy Boothroyd has picked his squad

Friday 30 Aug 2019
Aidy Boothroyd is setting his sights on new Euro Qualifying campaign
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England U21s kick-off their new U21 EURO qualifying campaign this month, as the road to Hungary and Slovenia in 2021 begins.

The Young Lions kick-off their group fixtures with a trip to Turkey on Friday 6 September, before they head home to play Kosovo in Hull three days later.

U21s' September schedule
  • UEFA European U21 Championship
  • Qualifying Group 3
  • v Turkey, 6.45pm, Friday 6 September, Yeni Kocaeli Stadyumu
  • v Kosovo, 6.45pm, Monday 9 September, KCOM Stadium, Hull

And head coach Aidy Boothroyd has named his squad for the games, with a new, 23-strong group coming together for the first time at U21 level.

Four players in Tom Davies, Morgan Gibbs-White and Reiss Nelson featured in the previous U21 EURO campaign and are young enough to go again this time.

There’s also a wealth of age-group experience throughout the squad, with only Reading midfielder Omar Richards coming into the England set-up for the first time.

And Boothroyd has been impressed by the number of players in his squad who have been playing first-team football with their clubs in the early stages of this season.

“I’m really excited by this new group of players and when I look at the squad we have put together, it’s very encouraging to see that so many of them have been playing regular football in the Premier League already this season,” said Boothroyd.

“The likes of Reece James and Lloyd Kelly have been unfortunate to pick up injuries, as it’s likely that they would also have been in the squad too.

“The more English players that we see playing regularly in the Premier League, the better, so all of the England coaches are really pleased about that.

“It’s always an interesting, and busy, camp when we come together for the first time ahead of a new campaign.

“There’s no doubt it’s a tough start to the campaign for us, facing the top two, but we had the same last time round and it worked out. We’ve watched a lot of them, they’re quite similar in how they play and we’re expecting real threats from set pieces and from counter-attacks. It won’t be easy but if we can go into the October fixtures with a good amount of points on the board then we’ll be pleased.

“Of course our biggest priority is player development and getting them ready for the senior side. It’s been particularly pleasing to see three of the players that were with at the Euros this summer be called up into Gareth Southgate’s squad and we’ll work with every individual in this group to give them the chance of doing the same.”

The squad

Goalkeepers: Ellery Balcombe (Brentford), Aaron Ramsdale (AFC Bournemouth), Nathan Trott (AFC Wimbledon, loan from West Ham United)

Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich City), Trevoh Chalobah (Huddersfield Town, loan from Chelsea), Ben Godfrey (Norwich City), Marc Guehi (Chelsea), James Justin (Leicester City), Jonathan Panzo (Cercle Bruges, loan from AS Monaco), Steven Sessegnon (Fulham), Ben Wilmot (Swansea City, loan from Watford)

Midfielders: Todd Cantwell (Norwich City), Tom Davies (Everton), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Dwight McNeil (Burnley), Omar Richards (Reading), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur), Joe Willock (Arsenal)

Forwards: Rhian Brewster (Liverpool), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Reiss Nelson (Arsenal), Eddie Nketiah (Leeds United, loan from Arsenal)

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By Nicholas Veevers