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England U21 Squad Announced:

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Despite the England senior team being on friendly duty, the U21's have two important European Qualification games against Finland and San Marino. Gareth Southgate announced his squad:

Ian Walton

The Squad

Goalkeepers: Jonathan Bond (Watford), Jack Butland (Barnsley, on loan from Stoke City), George Long (Sheffield United).

Defenders: Eric Dier (Sporting Lisbon), Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal), Michael Keane (Manchester United), Liam Moore (Leicester City), Jack Robinson (Blackpool, on loan from Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Southampton), John Stones (Everton).

Midfielders: Nathaniel Chalobah (Nottingham Forest, on loan from Chelsea), Will Hughes (Derby County), Ravel Morrison (West Ham United), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Wide: Tom Ince (Blackpool), Jesse Lingard (Birmingham City, on loan from Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Wilfried Zaha (Manchester United).

Forwards: Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Ings (Burnley), Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic, on loan from Manchester United).

You'll notice that Nathan Redmond and Tom Carroll are not included, both miss out due to injury. There is a call up for Liam Moore of Leicester who has impressed all with his form in the Championship this season. Luke Shaw and Will Hughes will see their first action of the qualification group after pulling out of last months squad, which saw the U21's win both games against Lithuania and San Marino.

I have to imagine that had these important fixtures not coincided with the England senior team friendlies, both Saido Berahino and Nathaniel Chalobah may have got a senior call up. I wouldn't be surprised if James Ward-Prowse would have also seen some action for the seniors had it not been for these qualification fixtures.

There is a whole host of talent available there and the midfield looks especially promising. It's going to be interesting to see the strike partnership that Southgate goes for, I think Berahino picks himself but if he does decide to go two up top, his partner will be an interesting selection.

What do you think of the squad selection? which players are you really excited about?