Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount named in England squad


England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd hailed Gareth Southgate's fearless senior call-ups for Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount and James Maddison - even if they have come earlier than expected.

"Well, it is (a big call) but I think it aligns with what we've done over the last 18 months, really", the Three Lions boss said.

"Quite a few of them have trained with us at various times here anyway so we're excited to see them".

Dembele, a similarly tricky and exciting forward, has since gone on to win the double with Barcelona and won a World Cup winner's medal this summer with France, feats Sancho will be dreaming of emulating with Dortmund and England.

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Gareth Southgate announced a youthful 25-man squad on Thursday shortly after confirming the extension of his contract through to the 2022 World Cup.

"I'm really pleased we are able to have that stability and it's important that we connect all the junior teams to that", Southgate told reporters.

One element of Southgate's leadership to come in for particular praise has been a continued faith in young players over more experienced campaigners who are unlikely to contribute a great deal in the long run. Two of them have returned to the group after injury: Watford's Nathaniel Chalobah and Tottenham's Harry Winks. "I'm always trying to find that balance, the messaging has to be correct, but it's good for their development to see how they train with us".

"Well, he's had a long period injured at Chelsea a year ago, so that wasn't a reflection on the quality of the player that he hadn't been with us, but he wasn't getting any football, really", Southgate said.

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"Then they have got to fight for their place in the U21s squad then because that's not bad either".

Boothroyd said: "Because of the injuries the team has got it just gives them an opportunity". We try to work in the same way and the benefits from that are clear.

Maddison, 21, has also been rewarded for a series of influential displays with Leicester City, although Daniel Sturridge has been overlooked despite finding form for Liverpool.

"Jack started our last game so to suddenly leave him out of the squad because he's playing in the Championship wouldn't be appropriate I think". I'm very happy and so proud to be part of this team.

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