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England Under-21s head coach Gareth Southgate has named a 23-man squad to take on USA’s U23 Olympic hopefuls in Preston, as they prepare for their Euro U21 Qualifying campaign in Norway on Monday 7 September.
Liverpool pair Jordon Ibe and Joe Gomez have been rewarded for their bright start to the season with their first U21 call-ups and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is also selected after scoring his first Premier League goal at the weekend.
And with eight players in the squad having already been capped at U21 level previously, there’s no shortage of experience in the group, coupled with some exciting talent from those who step-up from last season’s U20s and U19s.
There is a familiar face for Deepdale regulars, with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford currently on loan at Preston North End from Sunderland named in the U21s for the first time.
Calum Chambers, Eric Dier and Matt Targett have all been capped at this level in defence, with Wolverhampton Wanderers duo Kortney Hause and Dominic Iorfa making the step-up from last season’s U20s.
Everton’s Brendan Galloway is also picked for the first time, after starting the campaign in Roberto Martinez’s team and following caps for the Young Lions at U17, U18 and U19 level.
Calum Chambers is one of the players involved who featured in last summer's Euro Finals. The midfield boasts plenty of experience with James Ward-Prowse, Nathaniel Chalobah, Ruben-Loftus-Cheek and Jake Forster-Caskey all being familiar faces in Southgate’s previous squads.
In attack, Nathan Redmond provides more know-how at U21 level and Chuba Akpom has been recognised for his form on loan at Hull City from Arsenal and his performances with last season’s U20s. Manchester United striker James Wilson receives his first U21 call-up and Sunderland’s Duncan Watmore has the chance to build on his eye-catching displays for the U20s at the Toulon Tournament. Both Fulham striker Cauley Woodrow and Brighton winger Solly March have worked under Southgate previously.
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Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn (Manchester City), Jordan Pickford (Preston North End, on loan from Sunderland), Christian Walton (Bury, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion)
Defenders: Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Brendan Galloway (Everton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Jack Stephens (Middlesbrough, on loan from Southampton), Matt Targett (Southampton)
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea), Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Forwards: Chuba Akpom (Hull City, on loan from Arsenal), Jordon Ibe (Liverpool), Solly March (Brighton & Hove Albion), Nathan Redmond (Norwich City), Duncan Watmore (Sunderland), James Wilson (Manchester United), Cauley Woodrow (Fulham)