England men's U21s will play away games against both Romania and Georgia later this year.
Our Young Lions will travel to the respective 2023 UEFA U21 EURO co-hosts during available match slots within their new qualifying campaign this autumn, travelling to Bucharest to face Romania on 3 September 2021 before playing Georgia in Batumi on 16 November 2021.
And the trip to Romania will be the first game of a new season for the next MU21s cohort and act as a precursor to the age group’s 2023 UEFA U21 EURO qualifying campaign, in which England have been drawn out against Kosovo, Slovenia, Andorra, Albania and Czech Republic.
As joint-hosts for the 2023 finals, both Romania and Georgia have automatically qualified for the tournament and will be looking to get their squads up and running as they kick-off their preparations.
England and Romania last met relatively recently, at the 2019 UEFA U21 EURO Finals when Romania won a group stage fixture by 4-2 in Cesena, Italy.
Prior to that, the Young Lions beat Romania 2-1 during the Cyrille Regis International at Molineux in March 2018.
And the nations could quite easily cross paths again during the knockout stages of the 2021 U21 EURO in Hungary and Slovenia this summer, should they both progress beyond the groups in March.
Aidy Boothroyd's current squad were drawn alongside Switzerland, Portugal and Croatia in Group D of this season's U21 EURO Finals, which will be played across the Slovenian cities of Ljubljana and Koper from 25 to 31 March.
It's been a while longer since our last meeting with Georgia at MU21 level, with a friendly at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium in August 2000 ending in a 6-1 win for the Young Lions in our last encounter. On the scoresheet that day were Luke Young, Ashley Cole, Francis Jeffers, David Dunn, Jonathan Greening and Tommy Smith.
Prior to that, we played Georgia during the qualifying stages for the 1998 U21 EURO, when a Michael Duberry goal sealed a 1-0 win in Batumi in November 1996, before the nations shared a 0-0 draw in the return game at Charlton Athletic in April 1997.
Gareth Southgate’s seniors are also due to host Romania this June, in one of two warm-up fixtures on the eve of the rearranged UEFA EURO 2020.