England MU21 squad for October qualifiers with Serbia and Ukraine
Head coach Lee Carsley discusses the England men's under-21 squad for October's UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers with Serbia and Ukraine
England men’s under-21 head coach Lee Carsley has reiterated the importance of his players knowing they must perform for club and country if they want to retain their place in the Young Lions’ fiercely competitive squad.
Carsley has made five changes to his squad for October’s UEFA U21 EURO qualifiers against Serbia at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground and then away to Ukraine.
Seven of the players who helped England lift the U21 EURO title in the summer remain in the squad, alongside an exciting new crop of players, which includes eight of those who won the European Championship at under-19 level in 2022.
Carsley said: “We always talk about the players pushing each other and we should never be in a position where we’re doing a copy and paste of the squad list.
“The players need to know they have to keep performing either with their clubs or when they’re on camp with us.
“There are some players in the squad who weren’t with us last time and there are four or five who are really close to getting in this squad.
“When we look at the Euro Elite League squad (previously MU20s), that’s also a very competitive age group and we want to have them in the position where they are pushing these players in the older age group.”
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Brentford goalkeeper Matthew Cox, who is currently on loan at Bristol Rovers, Liverpool defender Jarrell Quansah – both of which were key members of England’s victorious U19 EURO-winning squad last year – plus Hull City’s Jaden Philogene and Jonathan Rowe of Norwich City have all been called up by the MU21s for the first time.
Tino Livramento is also back in the squad after an ACL injury in April 2022 ruled him out for almost a year but is now impressing for his new club Newcastle United.
Carsley said: “Jaden [Philogene] and Jonathan [Rowe] are both doing really well with their clubs at the minute – they’re players who are in form which is always a good position for us to be in.
“We also have Jarell Quansah in the squad for the first time. He’s been getting game time at Liverpool which as we know is a really tough team to get into for any player, so he deserves to be a part of this squad.
“Tino [Livramento] is a player we rate highly, it’s going to be good to have him back in and around the squad. He's been out for a while injured, so we’ll be looking to support him and Newcastle with that.”
England started their U21 EURO qualification campaign with a 3-0 victory away to Luxembourg last month and Carsley spoke about the benefits of having more time on the training ground with his players in September.
The Young Lions are likely to face tougher tests this month when they take on Serbia at the City Ground on Thursday 12 October and then travel to the Košická Futbalová Arénain in Slovakia to face Ukraine the following Monday.
And Carsley acknowledged: “This is a really tough camp for us, against two teams that are very well respected, and we’ve had to do our homework on them. We’re expecting two really tough games.”
The match with Serbia will be the first time the MU21s have played on home soil since lifting the U21 EURO title in July.
Captain Taylor Harwood-Bellis, goalkeeper James Trafford, Jarrad Branthwaite, Charlie Cresswell, Harvey Elliott, Cole Palmer and Noni Madueke were all part of the squad that lifted England’s first U21 title in 39 years.
The City Ground is a place Carsley knows well and he is relishing the chance to play in front of home fans in Nottingham, with tickets for the qualifier still available here.
Carsley said: “It’s a ground where I spent a lot of time last season through watching Morgan Gibbs-White and the teams Forest were playing against, and I’ve always been impressed by the passion of their supporters and the history attached to the City Ground.
“It’s a brilliant venue for us and hopefully the supporters who come and see the game will get an idea of what the next generation of England players look like.”
England MU21 squad
Goalkeepers: James Beadle (Oxford United, loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Matthew Cox (Bristol Rovers, loan from Brentford), James Trafford (Burnley)
Defenders: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Charlie Cresswell (Leeds United), Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Southampton, loan from Manchester City), Bashir Humphreys (Swansea City, loan from Chelsea), Rico Lewis (Manchester City), Tino Livramento (Newcastle United), Brooke Norton-Cuffy (Millwall, loan from Arsenal), Jarell Quansah (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Harvey Elliott (Liverpool), Hayden Hackney (Middlesbrough), James McAtee (Sheffield United, loan from Manchester City), Charlie Patino (Swansea City, loan from Arsenal), Aaron Ramsey (Burnley)
Forwards: Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (Borussia Dortmund), Liam Delap (Hull City, loan from Manchester City), Sam Iling-Junior (Juventus), Noni Madueke (Chelsea), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Jaden Philogene (Hull City), Jonathan Rowe (Norwich City)
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