4 years

England Under 21’s – who should stay and who should go?

Gareth needs to get out the guillotine and cut away some of the deadwood. And where are the notable absentees?

So Gareth Southgate, ex-penalty enemy, and current Under 21 manager manager, has chosen his 27-man squad to take to the European Championships in the summer.

He will eventually reduce the squad by four to 23, so let us have a look at who made the list:

Goalkeepers: Bettinelli (Fulham), Bond (Watford), Butland (Stoke)

Defenders: Chambers (Arsenal), Dier (Tottenham), Garbutt (Everton), Gibson (Middlesbrough), Jenkinson (Arsenal), Keane (Burnley), Moore (Leicester City), Stones (Everton), Targett (Southampton)

Midfielders: Carroll (Tottenham), Chalobah (Chelsea), Hughes (Derby County), Forster-Caskey (Brighton), Lingard (Manchester United), Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Pritchard (Tottenham), Redmond (Norwich City), Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Afobe (Wolves), Bamford (Chelsea), Berahino (West Bromwich Albion), Kane (Tottenham), Ings (Burnley), Woodrow (Fulham)

It’s not hard to see who the star players are going to be, and who Roy Hodgson will be keeping a close eye on. Do I really have to point them out?

A good squad in my opinion, but it could have been so much better. Where is Luke Shaw? Where is Raheem Sterling? Where is Ross Barkley? Are they making the leap from Under-21 to the senior squad? Instead of going to an international competition, they want a rest or play a few friendlies for the senior squad?

Understandably this competition is about the future of International football, so he has decided to bring inexperience in but do we really need to sacrifice most of the experienced players at higher levels?

I agree with Southgate when it comes to omitting Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain, I think there are better players than them in the squad, but leaving out Shaw, Barkley and Sterling? No.

I feel sorry for Luke Shaw, who has had a terribly frustrating season after being one of the best left-backs in the world last season, earning him a trip to the World Cup last summer. This competition may have been exactly what he needed.

Personally I am glad Ruben Loftus-Cheek has his first call-up, especially after being a stand-out player in Chelsea’s U-21s Champions League-winning squad this season. I just hope he gets the chance he deserves.

So who would be your starting line up? And which four would you drop? Here’s my choice:

GK- Jack Butland

DF- Calum Chambers

DF- John Stones

DF- Matt Targett

DF- Eric Dier

MF- James Ward-Prowse

MF- Ruben Loftus-Cheek

MF- Nathan Redmond

MF- Alex Pritchard

FW- Saido Berahino

FW- Harry Kane


Ben Gibson

Cauley Woodrow

Jake Forster-Caskey

Will Hughes


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