England manager Gareth Southgate is unlikely to name any player from the U-21s for the upcoming UEFA Nations League showdown.
Gareth Southgate is expected to name a bigger than usual squad on Thursday – about 28 players will be selected – knowing that some are likely to drop out with four English sides in the two European cup finals.
No surprise call-ups will be made with Southgate preferring senior players including the likes of captain Harry Kane, who is still recovering from an ankle injury but will be called for the finals in Portugal starting June 5.
With England also preparing for the U-21 European Championships in Italy, Southgate is committing to allow coach Aidy Boothroyd to pick a strong squad so as to increase their chances of success in that tournament.
Therefore, Southgate will resist calling up players like Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Leicester City’s James Maddison, Manchester City’s Phil Foden, or Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
However, he is set to name Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, who missed the March fixtures plus the Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro, after sustaining a hamstring problem before those games.
England will face the Netherlands on June 6 and then the winner between Portugal and Switzerland on June 9 as they look for their first major trophy since claiming the 1966 World Cup.
The initial squad will come together at St. George’s Park next Tuesday, except those from Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal who will be involved in the Champions League final or the Europa League final.
Any players from Manchester City or Watford, who will be battling for the FA Cup final on Saturday 18 are also not expect to join up the squad, as well as Borussia Dortmund’ Jadon Sancho given the German Bundesliga season is yet to end.
Sancho and City players will be given a break before a second training camp starts the next week, with players involved in the European finals travelling to Portugal after that.
To complicate matters further, Southgate must submit a 23-man squad to UEFA by Monday May 27 before the forthcoming finals, though he is allowed to replace any injured players.
But Gareth is not anticipating many drop-outs given the competition for places and prize at stake and he will name a larger than the regular 23-man squad plus stand-by players.