England men's Under-21 squad for games with Italy and Germany
Lee Carsley has named a 25-man squad as England men’s Under-21s replicate the senior side by facing Italy and Germany this month.
The fixtures should provide ideal preparation for the MU21s at they look to build towards next summer’s U21 EURO in Romania and Georgia.
On Thursday 22 September - the day before Gareth Southgate’s senior side play at the iconic San Siro - Carsley’s MU21s will also face the Italians at Stadio Adriatico, home of Serie C side Pescara, with kick-off at 4.30pm.
This will be followed by a game against Germany on Tuesday 27 September at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane, with kick-off at 7.45pm and coming 24 hours after the senior side welcomes the same country to Wembley Stadium connected by EE.
Carsley has named a strong squad for the double-header, with 24 of the 25 players having been called up by the MU21s in the past.
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Carsley said: “While we need to plan for the forthcoming international window, I would like to echo Gareth Southgate’s sentiment and keep any comments about this squad to a minimum to respect the nation’s period of mourning. All of our thoughts remain with the Royal Family.
“These fixtures against Italy and Germany signal the start of a season that will conclude with the U21 European Championships next summer so the challenge that lies ahead is clear for all of our players. We are also mindful that we play a part in supporting Ian Foster's age group with their preparations for next year's FIFA U20 World Cup.”
He continued: “Many of these players report for England duty with a variety of experiences at club level under their belt from the opening weeks of this new season – be that a first loan move, a new manager or even a new country. I’m also conscious that some of these players have played a lot this season while, at the opposite end of the scale, there are others who need match minutes.”
The head coach is also able to call upon Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, whose performances on loan at Crystal Palace last season saw him earn his first four caps for the England senior team.
Carsley said: “We welcome Conor Gallagher back to the group which is another example of us having a fluid pathway across our national teams. I know Conor will take to the pitch with as much pride in wearing an England shirt for the U21s as he would for the seniors. He – like all of our players – can continue to take comfort in the fact that Gareth will always keep one eye on their progress; there is no glass ceiling.”
Manchester City defender Luke Mbete, who turns 19 on Sunday, is the only player in the squad who has been called up for the first time, while Gallagher is joined by another trio of experienced MU21 players to return.
Carsley said: “Luke is a player who has been in our system for a while, he’s headed out to Huddersfield this season for his first loan move and he’s a player who we see as having high potential within the England set-up. We look forward to working with him.”
He continued: “In Ryan Sessegnon, Oliver Skipp and Rhian Brewster, we also welcome back experienced players at this age group who I’m sure will play an important part – on and off the field – in our preparation for next summer."
Tickets for the England MU21s versus Germany at Bramall Lane are £16 for adults and £6 for concessions and can be purchased here.
Goalkeepers: Joe Bursik (Stoke City), Josh Griffiths (Portsmouth, loan from West Bromwich Albion), James Trafford (Bolton Wanderers, loan from Manchester City)
Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich City), Charlie Cresswell (Millwall, loan from Leeds United), Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Burnley, loan from Manchester City), Luke Mbete (Huddersfield Town, loan from Manchester City), Levi Colwill (Brighton & Hove Albion, loan from Chelsea), Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham Hotspur), Djed Spence (Tottenham Hotspur), Luke Thomas (Leicester City)
Midfielders: Tommy Doyle (Sheffield United, loan from Manchester City), Harvey Elliott (Liverpool), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), James Garner (Everton), *Tyler Morton (Blackburn Rovers, loan from Liverpool), James McAtee (Sheffield United, loan from Manchester City), Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur)
Forward: Folarin Balogun (Stade de Reims, loan from Arsenal), Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United), Angel Gomes (Lille), Anthony Gordon (Everton), Cole Palmer (Manchester City)
* Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest) & Keane Lewis-Potter (Brentford) both withdrawn
See MU21s v Germany live