Over a two-week period in June (16th-30th), the EURO U-21 Championships will be hosted in Italy and San Marino. A tournament last won by Germany in 2017, the competition could play host to a significant number of world-renowned ‘wonder kids’, such as; Kylian Mbappe, Leroy Sane, Marco Asensio, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Luka Jovic, to name a few.
All four of the 2017 semi-finalists have qualified for this year’s event, one of which was – England. The Young Lions were sent home after being beaten 3-4 on penalties by Germany in the semi-finals (no shock there).
Of the 23 players selected to play in the 2017 championships, only five are still eligible.
Looking to this year’s tournament, England U-21 manager, Aidy Boothroyd could select an exceptional 23-man squad, one that could arguably and hopefully go on to win the trophy – something the Young Lions haven’t done since 1984.
Below is just one possible squad (if all players stay fit and/or return from injury), Boothroyd could make:
(Age of player when the competition starts)
Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn (23), Dean Henderson (22), Freddie Woodman (22),
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (20), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (21), Joe Gomez (22), Mason Holgate (22), Fikayo Tomori (21), Ben Chilwell (22), Jay Dasilva (21).
Midfielders: Declan Rice (20), Harry Winks (23), Dele Alli (23), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (23), James Maddison (22), Phil Foden (19).
Forwards: Jadon Sancho (19), Reiss Nelson (19), Marcus Rashford (21), Tammy Abraham (21), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (22), Callum Hudson-Odoi (18), Ryan Sessengnon (19).
As you can see this squad is stacked with Premier League, Bundesliga, and Championship experience. Despite some of the players being 23 and 22, they are still young and add senior England caps to the squad. Overall, it is a very strong squad, and one that could definitely challenge for the trophy this June.
For those of you wondering why the squad can consists of 22 and 23 year-olds, it’s because – any player born after January 1 1996 is eligible to play in the tournament through UEFA ruling.
featured image credit Derby Telegraph