Uncapped trio get England Under-21 call-ups

Date published: Thursday 17th March 2016 11:48

Gareth Southgate: Three new caps

Gareth Southgate has handed an uncapped trio their debut calls ups ahead of England Under-21s’ European Championship qualifier in Switzerland.

Newcastle winger Rolando Aarons, Hull’s Arsenal loanee Isaac Hayden and Blackburn midfielder Matt Grimes, on loan from Swansea, have all been included for next week’s game in Thun.

Leicester’s uncapped duo Demarai Gray and Ben Chilwell are also included, with both having been called up before, along with Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse.

Duncan Watmore, Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Redmond are all out injured for Southgate ahead of their Under-21 Group 9 European qualifier next Saturday.

Southgate said: “This has been a different challenge. Over the last 18 months we have had a really settled squad.

“The first four camps of this campaign we have had a lot of new players to integrate, quite a few players who have stepped up to the first team and unfortunately we have lost quite a few players to injury.

“It’s an opportunity for new players but also quite a lot of work for us to do to get the harmony within the group.”

demarai gray

Aarons has been playing at full-back for Newcastle but Southgate hopes he can help fill the void by Sunderland’s Watmore and Norwich winger Redmond.

He told the FA.com: “We see him as a wide player and we are in a situation where, unfortunately, Duncan Watmore has an injury, and Nathan Redmond has been a key player for us and he is out.

“For Rolando it is an opportunity for him to come with the Under-21s for the first time and a chance to impress us and get an understanding of the way we work.”

England are top of Group 9 and three points clear of Norway and Switzerland, with next year’s tournament in Poland, and beat the Swiss 3-1 at Brighton in November.

“Switzerland will want to get revenge for the result but it is a key game for us in terms of qualifying for the finals, and a good preparation for the Toulon Tournament this summer,” added Southgate.


Goalkeepers: Pickford (Sunderland), Walton (Brighton & Hove Albion), Wildsmith (Sheffield Wednesday).

Defenders: Chambers (Arsenal), Chilwell (Leicester City), Galloway (Everton), Hause (Wolves), Iorfa (Wolves), Stephens (Coventry; on loan from Southampton), Targett (Southampton).

Midfielders: Baker (Vitesse Arnhem; on loan from Chelsea), Grimes (Blackburn Rovers; on loan from Swansea City), Hayden (Hull City; on loan from Arsenal), Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Swift (Brentford; on loan from Chelsea), Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Forwards: Aarons (Newcastle United), Akpom (Hull City; on loan from Arsenal), Gray (Leicester City), Ibe (Liverpool), Solanke (Vitesse Arnhem; on loan from Chelsea), Wilson (Brighton & Hove Albion; on loan from Manchester Utd)

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