Tottenham man comments on Sterling, Barkley and Shaw Under-21 debate

Tottenham Alex Pritchard

Alex Pritchard is not concerned with the inclusion of senior England internationals in the Under-21 squad.

21-year-old Pritchard has impressed for Championship side Brentford since signing on loan for the London club from Tottenham Hotspur.

His early form for his loan club saw him named in Gareth Southgate’s Under-21 squad for their final round of qualification fixtures for the European Championship in August, whilst he also made the squad for the vital play-off ties with Croatia earlier this month.

He will be hoping to continue his impressive form with the Bees for the remainder of the Championship season, having registered two goals and one assist in 13 games, with a place in Southgate’s squad for the Finals tournament potentially up for grabs - although that may become harder if a number of senior internationals make the step down to Under-21 level to help the Three Lions achieve victory.

Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, Everton’s Ross Barkley and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw have all won senior caps for their nation, with Sterling cementing himself as a key figure in any success Roy Hodgson will have whilst in charge of the country. However, the trio are still under the age of 21, making them eligible for inclusion in the Under-21 squad next summer, and a number of key figures in the game believe they should step down a level to help their country - rather than coasting on their ability in the knowledge that they have guaranteed places in senior squads in the immediate future.

Whilst their inclusion would help the country, it could also hinder the process of a number of players who were originally fighting for a place in the squad - such as Pritchard.

However, the creative midfielder is not worried, claiming that anything can happen as long as he continues to perform to the best of his ability.

Speaking to the Standard, Pritchard said: “It shouldn’t concern anyone. They’re just names, they’re still footballers.

“If you work hard then you don’t know what’s going to happen.

“You’ve just got to keep playing and hopefully get in the squad.”

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch