England under-21 manager Gareth Southgate released his latest squad on Thursday, however, it wasn’t good news for Lewis Baker, Jordon Ibe or James Wilson.
The former Middlesbrough manager has made five changes to the squad that saw off Croatia over two legs last month:
In came: Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham), Jack Robinson (Huddersfield Town, on loan from Queens Park Rangers), Nathaniel Chalobah (Burnley, on loan from Chelsea), Danny Ings (Burnley) and Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
Replacing: Sam Johnstone (Doncaster Rovers, on loan from Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Eric Dier (Tottenahm Hotspur), Lewis Baker (Chelsea) and Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) in the 22-man squad.
The latest squad means there will be no under-21 international debut for either James Wilson or Jordon Ibe and a demotion for Lewis Baker, who drops back into the England under-20 side after being named in Southgate’s last squad.
James Wilson, who is now seen as a regular in the Manchester United matchday squad, will be disappointed not to have earned an under-21 call-up ahead of Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson and Burnley’s Danny Ings, both of which have been added to squad.
Three Premier League appearances and no goals may not have been enough to turn Southgate’s head, but considering the competition he has at United, he’s really proving himself as a real prospect for the club. More regular first-team appearances may be what Southgate is waiting for, but at least the striker will get the chance to impress with the under-20s next week in their games against Canada and Portugal.
Jordon Ibe, who has scored three goals in 585 minutes of football at Derby, will have optimistically been hoping for a first call-up considering his current form in the Championship but seems like he will have to bide his time.
Nathan Redmond, Patrick Bamford, Thomas Ince and Alex Pritchard have had statistically less impact than the 18-year-old this season, so there are reasons for the Liverpool loanee to feel hard done-by.
Nevertheless, perhaps the most disappointed out of the trio will be Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker after being dropped back to the under-20 side following his call-up to Southgate’s squad last month.
Although the dynamic midfielder didn’t make an appearance during the two games against Croatia, it was believed that he had done well in training and was integrating well into the side. So, it must have been a surprise to see his name omitted from the latest squad.
The two England under-20 games next week - against Canada and Portugal - will act as a great platform for the trio to prove their point to Southgate and will hopefully put their name in the frame for a call-up when the next international break comes around.