England’s Young Lions kick off their Euro U21 campaign tonight by taking on the Czech Republic, as they eye a sensational trophy in Georgia.
Lee Carsley’s side are in a group with the Czechs, Israel and defending champions Germany and will be determined to avoid another knockout at the first hurdle.
The manager has a host of talented players to choose from, including in-demand Chelsea defender Levi Colwill and Newcastle’s £45million player Anthony Gordon.
Here, Mail Sport’s JACK GAUGHAN gives you the team details.
The Young Lions of England kick off their U21 Euro campaign against the Czech Republic tonight
Lee Carsley has a squad of talented players to choose from and here Mail Sport is looking at them
James Trafford (Man City, 20)
England’s No. 1 after Joe Bursik’s drop. Confident in his own abilities and confident that he will play for one of the top four clubs. Solid loan to Bolton Wanderers last season and will now at least move on to the Championship.
James Trafford is his country’s number 1 and believes he will continue to play for one of the top four clubs
Josh Griffiths (WBA, 21)
Joined West Bromwich aged 10 and broke into the Baggies side at the end of the campaign after loan spells at Cheltenham, Lincoln and Portsmouth. Now has a lot of admirers in the top flight watching his progress.
Carl Rushworth (Brighton, 21)
Another who plied his trade in Lincoln. Made his Under-21 debut against Japan in a behind-closed-doors friendly last week and kept a clean sheet. Rushworth, an avid golfer, has emerged as a shock target for Barcelona in 2021.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Man City, 21)
Group captain throughout qualifying and with a budding reputation after promotion on loan with Burnley. Appointed by Southgate, Harwood-Bellis will play in the Premier League next year.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis captained the group in qualifying and will play in the Premier League
Max Aarons (Norwich, 23)
Already with over 200 professional games under his belt, including several in the Premier League, Aarons is one of the senior members of that group. Can be used on both the right and left of the English defence.
Charlie Cresswell (Leeds, 20)
Son of former Leeds striker Richard, the rugged centre-half wears a protective mask after suffering a fractured eye socket in April, which led to him being called Batman by his team-mates.
Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton, 20)
Giant Cumbrian nearly gave up football aged 16 due to Osgood-Schlatter disease. Carlisle United gave him weeks to prove he could succeed as a professional. He is now back from a solid loan spell at PSV.
Levi Colwill (Chelsea, 20)
The next taxi out of the senior ranks, having spent the past week with Gareth Southgate’s side. Played 22 times on loan at Brighton last season. The Seagulls want to sign him from Chelsea but have seen a £30million offer rejected.
Levi Colwill recently trained with the seniors and Brighton pushed for a £30m deal
Luke Thomas (Leicester, 22)
Regular performer at left-back. Endured an up-and-down campaign with relegated Leicester but never let the Under-21s down in his 13 appearances under Lee Carsley. Started for the Foxes when they won the 2021 FA Cup Final.
Ben Johnson (West Ham, 23)
Can play anywhere on a back four or five. Johnson has played everywhere for the Under-21s over the past two years. Joined the Hammers aged seven and starred in their run to Conference League glory.
Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest, 23)
Arguably Nottingham Forest’s player of the season. He came with a big price tag last summer but lived up to the hype and is set to play the No.10 role for England here in Georgia. Will provide the creative spark for the team.
Creative Morgan Gibbs-White was arguably Nottingham Forest’s Player of the Season
Ange Gomes (Lille, 22 years old)
The forgotten man in many ways, but England are delighted with Gomes’ progress in France. Plays deeper now than as a kid at Manchester United but dictates procedures with class in possession.
Tommy Doyle (Man City, 21)
The team’s best free-kick taker and one of the best in the country. A strong loan spell in the Championship at Sheffield United last season means he has Premier League suitors. Lit and good player of the game.
Curtis Jones (Liverpool, 22)
Carsley expects big things from Jones, whose recent form for his boyhood club Liverpool has given him a platform to start on. England continue to push the midfielder to realize his undoubted potential.
James Garner (Everton, 22)
Another versatile option after playing in midfield and right-back for Everton as they avoided relegation. Strong passer, although behind others in the midfield pecking order. Product of the Manchester United youth system.
Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa, 22)
Can transform a game in an instant. Developed massively under Unai Emery and England could use him as a threat just down the left. As a little boy, he used to train boxing with his father, a former professional fighter.
Jacob Ramsey is able to transform games in an instant and developed under Unai Emery
Harvey Elliott (Liverpool, 20)
One of those on this team who can sprinkle stardust. Produced the best performance on the right but often used behind an attacker. His experience of big occasions at Liverpool will be invaluable.
Oliver Skipp (Tottenham, 22)
Soothing influence at the base of the English midfield. A nasty pelvic injury ruled him out of the start of the season, but he ended it strong at Tottenham with the longest run of consecutive starts of his career to date.
Cole Palmer (Man City, 21)
A big few weeks for Palmer, who hasn’t gotten the playing time he was hoping for this season under Pep Guardiola. Technically up there with the best in that age group. Needs to add more goals and should be loaned out next season.
Noni Madueke (Chelsea, 21)
His explosive pace and eye for goal were evident when he came off the bench in a friendly against France in March and was a game changer, helping England to a 4-0 victory. Chelsea have paid £29million to bring the winger back to England from PSV.
Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal, 22)
There were some eye-catching moments for the Under-21s, including a superb goal against the Czech Republic last summer. The only player in this group to earn a senior cap. A groin injury meant he had a frustrating season at Arsenal.
Anthony Gordon (Newcastle, 22)
Another young player who went for some serious money, £45m from Everton in January, and Southgate is watching closely. Can play anywhere in the top three, but England want to see more goals from Gordon.
Anthony Gordon moved to Newcastle for £45m but England want to see more goals from him
Cameron Archer (Aston Villa, 21)
The only recognized striker in the team after Folarin Balogun chose the United States. His 11 goals in 17 loan starts at Middlesbrough indicate he’s ready to shoot when it really matters.
Carsley’s 17-year-old playing career began at Derby, whom he helped win promotion to the Premiership in 1996. After spells at Blackburn, Coventry, Everton and Birmingham, he retired in 2011 after also won 40 caps for the Republic of Ireland.
A series of club management roles followed before his appointment as England U20 manager in September 2020. He was promoted to the U21 side in July 2021 following the departure of Aidy Boothroyd.