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

Two new faces included in Young Lions squad for last two U21 EURO qualifiers

Friday 06 Nov 2020
England MU21s will round off 2020 with two home games at Molineux

England round off their UEFA U21 EURO qualifying fixtures in November, with a home double-header against Andorra and Albania.

The Young Lions secured their qualification for next year’s finals last month, thanks to a 2-1 victory over Turkey at Molineux.

And they’re back at the home of Wolves for their final two games of the group stage as head coach Aidy Boothroyd starts his planning and preparation for the final stages of the competition, which kick-off in March 2021.

With a number of players missing out through injury for this month's games, there are two new faces in the group for the first time with Bayern Munich forward Jamal Musiala and Derby County defender Lee Buchanan earning their first U21 call-ups.

Musiala, 17, was initially a product of Chelsea’s academy before making the move to Germany in the summer of 2019 and has been previously capped by the Young Lions at both MU16 and MU17 level.

Meanwhile, Buchanan featured for the Young Lions with the MU19s last season and made his MU20 debut in their win over Wales at St. George’s Park last month.

Jamal Musiala in action for England MU17s against Czech Republic at Damson Park in Solihull last November

 

“The fact that we qualified with two games to go is a real credit to the players and the staff,” said Boothroyd.

“It means we can give one or two people a rest and we can introduce one or two people who have been doing well, like Jamal Musiala.

“If you look at the likes of Jamal and Curtis Jones, then it shows how much talent we have available and the depth of the squad.

“We’ve got about eight to nine players who are just going to miss out on this one because of injuries, including Ben Godfrey and Tom Davies, which is a shame. 

“But we have competition for places, which is a good thing for any coach and that means the level of training goes up that little bit more, the attitude on the pitch goes up a couple of per cent and it shows you’ve got a really strong environment.

“When it comes around to March we’ll be in a different place, some players will be in form, others out of form and some players who’ve found themselves out of the squad, will find themselves in the squad because of their form for their club team.

“So our squad is getting deeper and deeper, and it’s a matter of picking the right players in the right spots and hoping that we steer clear of injury, which has dogged us over the last couple of Championships.”

Lee Buchanan featured for England MU20s in October and now finds himself in Aidy Boothroyd's squad

 

In terms of both Musiala and Buchanan, Boothroyd believes these two games offer an opportunity for them both to come in and stake a claim for next year.

“Jamal has been doing really well at Bayern Munich, getting a couple of starts and making a number of cameo appearances, and when you’re involved in a team of Bayern Munich’s quality you have to take notice of that,” he added.

“We’ve been tracking him for quite a while and he has been in the system. I work very closely with not only Les Reed but John McDermott and Lee Carsley, as well as Gareth, in terms of when it is right for players to come into the squad.

“We think it’s the right time for Jamal to get into the MU21s, so we can get a close look at him. He’s been playing really well, getting Champions League exposure and he's one of those players who has forced himself into our plans.

Young Lions boss Aidy Boothroyd is planning for next year's UEFA U21 EURO championship

“And Lee is a product of Derby County’s very successful youth system, he’s been scouted early, been in our system and played in our development teams.

“He’s been a standout player for Derby and because he’s been in our system, it was an easy conversation to have with Lee Carsley, to call him into the squad and now get a closer look at him in training.”

England will play Andorra on Friday 13 November (7.30pm), before Albania are the visitors on Tuesday 17 November (7.25pm) with both games being shown live on BT Sport in the UK.

The squad

Goalkeepers: Brandon Austin (Tottenham Hotpur), Josef Bursik (Stoke City, on loan at Doncaster Rovers), Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United)

Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich City)*, Lee Buchanan (Derby County), Marc Guehi (Chelsea, on loan at Swansea City)^^, James Justin (Leicester City), Lloyd Kelly (AFC Bournemouth), Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion), Jonathan Panzo (Dijon), Rhys Williams (Liverpool), Ben Wilmot (Watford)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)**, Josh Dasilva (Brentford), Ebere Eze (Crystal Palace)^^, Conor Gallagher (Chelsea, on loan at West Bromwich Albion), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur, on loan at Norwich City)

Forwards: Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United)^, Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Dwight McNeil (Burnley), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham Hotspur, on loan at Hoffenheim)***

*Withdrawn on Tuesday 10 November, with Ben Godfrey and Tom Davies called up
**Promoted to senior squad on Tuesday 10 November
***Withdrawn on Wednesday 11 November
^ Withdrawn on Sunday 15 November
^^ Eberechi Eze and Marc Guehi withdrawn on Monday 16 November

By Nicholas Veevers