England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed that under-21 manager Gareth Southgate can select any eligible player, meaning England could field a side at the U21 European Championship in 2015 that includes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Raheem Sterling.
For that reason, we thought we’d take a look at the best U21 team England could take to the Czech Republic next summer.
1. Goalkeeper – Jack Butland (22 in June 2015*), 2. Right-back – Jon Flanagan (22*), 3. Left-back – Luke Shaw (20), 4. Centre-back – Calum Chambers (20), 5. Centre-back – John Stones (21), 6. Midfield – Phil Jones (23*), 7. Midfield – Jack Wilshere (23*), 8. Midfield – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (21), 9. Midfield – Ross Barkley (21), 10. Midfield – Raheem Sterling (20), 11. Striker – Saido Berahino (21), Substitute: Jonjo Shelvey (23*)
*Player eligible as they were born on or after 1 January 1992
Roy Hodgson on picking players for the under-21 team ahead of the senior side:
"After Gareth picks his squad, I will pick mine. He can pick any under-21 who's available.
"We can deal with four or five absentees and tournaments are important. But if they're available for me, that's fine, too."
What under-21 boss Gareth Southgate says:
“I can tell you now that isn't even in my thinking. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, for example, has been to two major championships. Those guys are seniors.
"I know people cite Spain, with Mata and a couple of others. But this is fairly typical of most Under-21 coaches around Europe.
"Christian Eriksen still qualifies to play for Denmark but I don't see the Danes clamouring for him. It is that balance. You need to see what can be gained by bringing them back into this environment.”
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