Mason Greenwood, Emile Smith Rowe named in England U21 squad for European Championship group stage – Sky Sports

Mason Greenwood and Callum Hudson-Odoi have been named in the England U21 squad for the group stage of this year’s European Championship, while there is a first call-up for Emile Smith Rowe.

England boss Aidy Boothroyd has announced his 23-man squad to face Portugal, Croatia and Switzerland in Group D, with the first stage of the tournament taking place from March 24-31.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the knockout phase will then be held from May 31 with the final in Ljubljana (Slovenia) on June 6. Boothroyd will be able to name a new squad if England qualify from their group.

January 26, 2021, Southampton, United Kingdom: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal during the Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton. Picture date: 26th January 2021. Picture credit should read: David Klein/Sportimage(Credit Image: © David Klein/CSM via ZUMA Wire) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

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Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe has been named in the England U21 squad for the first time

Manchester United’s Greenwood and Chelsea’s Hudson-Odoi, who have both represented England’s senior side, are joined in the squad by Smith Rowe and his Arsenal team-mate Eddie Nketiah.

Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones is included along with uncapped Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga. On-loan Cheltenham goalkeeper Josh Griffiths and PSV forward Noni Madueke have received maiden call-ups.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

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Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi has made 19 appearances in the Premier League this season

Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly and Ryan Sessegnon, on loan at Hoffenheim from Tottenham, are the only survivors from the 2019 finals, with Sessegnon joined in the squad by twin brother Steven.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham and Chelsea full-back Reece James have not been selected but are likely to receive senior England call-ups when Gareth Southgate names his squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers on Thursday.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Boothroyd said: “They’re two really gifted players who we think have moved on from the U21s at this particular stage and need to support Gareth in what he’s doing with the World Cup qualifiers this March.

“They have been excellent whenever they’ve been with us and we just thought this was the right time for them to come through.”



Aidy Boothroyd





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England U21 boss Aidy Boothroyd says Jude Bellingham and Reece James were not selected in his side as it is the right time for them to move on and help Gareth Southgate’s senior team

Boothroyd: This squad excites me

The European U21 Championship will be co-hosted by Hungary and Slovenia and features 16 teams for the first time. It will consist of four groups of four teams with the group winners and runners-up all reaching the quarter-finals.

England won nine of their 10 qualifiers to reach the tournament, drawing once at Andorra, while they sealed top spot in Group Three with a 2-1 victory over Turkey in October.

The Young Lions are aiming to become the first England side to lift the trophy in 37 years and although they are appearing in the finals for an eighth consecutive time, they have only made it out of the group stage on three occasions during that run.

“I am excited by this group – not just in their ability but also their togetherness and team spirit – and know they will do everything they can to make the country proud,” Boothroyd said. “I am grateful to Gareth for his support with what we are trying to achieve, and also to the clubs for recognising the importance of these finals.

England U21

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England U21s face Portugal, Croatia and Switzerland in Group D of the European Championship

“We want to win every time we play and will do all we can to reach the knockout stage – but this is also a crucial opportunity for providing valuable experience on and off the pitch that will help the players, their clubs and England in future.

“History tells us that this competition is about as competitive as it gets and we know we will have to be at our best. Because we are in the middle of the domestic season, everyone will have to hit the ground running as soon as they come together but we are ready for the challenge. We can’t wait to get started.”

All matches will be played behind closed doors during the group stage, but UEFA has yet to confirm whether the knockout phase will be open to fans.

All England matches will be televised by Sky Sports, with kick-off times not clashing with senior team fixtures on the same days.

England U21 squad

Goalkeepers: Josh Griffiths (Cheltenham Town), Josef Bursik (Stoke City), Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United)

Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich), Ben Godfrey (Everton), Marc Guehi (Swansea), Lloyd Kelly (Bournemouth), Ryan Sessegnon (Hoffenheim), Steven Sessegnon (Bristol City), Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham), Ben Wilmot (Watford)

Midfielders: Dwight McNeil (Burnley), Oliver Skipp (Norwich), Tom Davies (Everton), Conor Gallagher (West Brom), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)

Forwards: Ebere Eze (Crystal Palace), Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Noni Madueke (PSV Eindhoven), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal)

Eddie Nketiah has scored five goals in all competitions for Arsenal so far this season

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Eddie Nketiah holds the England U21 scoring record with 16 goals in 14 matches

Greenwood stays with U21s but could Bellingham get senior call?

Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:

As ever, Aidy Boothroyd’s U21 squad offers clues about what to expect from the next senior squad announcement, which is coming up on Thursday.

We now know there will be no place for Mason Greenwood, who is still waiting for a return to Gareth Southgate’s squad since he breached coronavirus guidelines along with Phil Foden at England’s team hotel in Reykjavik in September.

Greenwood has featured prominently for Manchester United recently, starting 12 of their last 16 games in all competitions, but he has not found the net since January.

And while Foden is a more established presence among the seniors, Southgate evidently feels Greenwood’s development is best served with the U21s for now.

AP

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Is Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham about to receive another senior England call-up?

Jude Bellingham’s absence suggests he will get another chance with Southgate’s side. The 17-year-old became England’s third-youngest player when he came on as a substitute during the 3-0 win over Republic of Ireland in November and has continued to impress for Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund since then.

Callum Hudson-Odoi, like Greenwood, has to settle for a place with the U21s despite having previously been involved at senior level, while Emile Smith Rowe’s call-up shows he will not be fast-tracked into Southgate’s squad despite his eye-catching breakthrough at Arsenal this season.

England U21 group-stage fixtures

ENGLAND v Switzerland
Thursday, March 25; kick-off 2pm
Stadion Bonifika, Koper, Slovenia
Live on Sky Sports Football

Portugal v ENGLAND
Sunday, March 28; kick-off 8pm
Stadion Stoziche, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Live on Sky Sports Football

Croatia v ENGLAND
Wednesday, March 31; kick-off 5pm
Stadion Bonifika, Koper, Slovenia
Live on Sky Sports Football

England U21

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England U21s won nine of their 10 qualifiers to reach the tournament

European U21 Championship draw in full

Group A: Hungary, Germany, Romania, Netherlands

Group B: Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy

Group C: Russia, Iceland, France, Denmark

Group D: Portugal, Croatia, England, Switzerland