England’s under-21 squad named: Browning and Solanke star

England's under-21 squad named: Browning and Solanke star

Gareth Southgate has officially named his 21-man squad ahead of England’s Euro Qualifiers with Bosnia and Switzerland in the middle of this month – with a talented pool of players involved, including Tyias Browning and Dominic Solanke.

In Gareth Southgate‘s most recent under-21 squad selection, he has chosen a talented young forward – making his debut for the age group, as well as an impressive Everton defender with a few unfortunate injuries of late to youngsters across Europe in the nation’s talented pool of young, capable players.

The talented young forward in question, is none other than Chelsea‘s Dominic Solanke. The teenager needs no introduction – having scored 41 goals in all competitions for the respective age groups last term, at just 17-years-of-age.

Only a matter of time for Dominic

His goal-scoring prowess, agility, acceleration and strength, not to mention his height, all spell trouble for opposition defences. With this in mind, it was only a matter of time before he made a loan move elsewhere, and he has already impressed at Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie thus far this campaign.

Nine games: four goals, an assist, and plenty more chances created, he’s certainly an exciting prospect and earns his first call-up to the u21 squad, as he normally features for the under-19 team.

A chance for Tyias too

As well as him, Tyias Browning has been named in the squad. At 21, he’s gradually starting to make his impact on Roberto Martinez‘ first-team side, and has taken his opportunities when they’ve come, in a defensive-minded position alongside the likes of John Stones and Brendan Galloway in a youthful backline for the Toffees.

Certainly talented, his presence will somewhat soften the blow of losing Liverpool full-back Joe Gomez through a cruciate ligament injury – as he’ll be out of action until the end of the season.

A horrible setback for the teenager, who settled in seamlessly at the Reds following his switch from Charlton in the summer.

Along with Gomez on the sidelines, are Wolves‘ defender Kortney Hause, and Manchester United startlet James Wilson.

So with that in mind – The full squad list, is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Preston, on-loan from Sunderland), Christian Walton (Brighton), Joe Wildsmith (Sheffield Wednesday).

Defenders: Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway (both Everton) Dominic Iorfa (Wolves), Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Matt Targett (Southampton), Jack Stephens (Middlesbrough, on-loan from Southampton).

Midfielders: Lewis Baker (Vitesse, on-loan from Chelsea), Nathaniel Chalobah (Napoli, on-loan from Chelsea), Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Forwards: Chuba Akpom (Hull, on-loan from Arsenal), Jordon Ibe (Liverpool), Solly March (Brighton), Nathan Redmond (Norwich), Cauley Woodrow (Fulham), Duncan Watmore (Sunderland), Dominic Solanke (Vitesse, on-loan from Chelsea).


England will be playing against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday 12 November, before entertaining Switzerland four days later; the following Monday.

The 17-year-old Chelsea talent with the world at his feet

solanke

Stats and data correct to the 7th of March, 2015: 

Chelsea have an abundance of attacking riches in their squad, with the likes of Oscar, Eden Hazard, Willian, Loic Remy, Diego Costa and their January addition Juan Cuadrado all to add into the mix. However, they have many youth startlets closer to home, waiting for their chance to shine in the first-team.

One of those, is 17-year-old forward Dominic Solanke. Born in Reading, Berkshire, with Nigerian heritage, the youngster has flourished and developed significantly over the past two seasons in the Chelsea youth set-up. So much so, that he was named England Men’s Youth Player of The Year for 2014 at the start of 2015, and has represented England at U-16, 17 and U-18 level thus far.

His knack for goal-scoring

During the 2013-14 season, Solanke managed to score 20 goals in 25 matches for the Chelsea U-18’s, an impressive feat. In doing so, he prompted youth coaches to stand up and take notice, earning a call-up to the U-21’s side where he currently showcases his ability on a weekly basis consistently. In all competitions, he has scored 15 goals and created six assists, in just 18 matches played this season.

STAT: Currently, he is the top scorer in the UEFA Youth League with eight goals in the competition, at the quarter-final stage.

STAT: He is the joint fourth top goalscorer in the U21 Premier League with Newcastle’s Adam Armstrong, having scored seven goals in 11 appearances this season. Ryan Seager, Adil Nabi, Chuba Akpom are the only players who have scored MORE goals than him, but ironically, they’ve all played more matches also.

Attacking flair and blistering pace

As a player, especially developing into a world-class one, you tend to have one or two strengths that you hold in high regard, as opposed to the rest of your game. For Solanke, as well as his goal-scoring ability, he has blistering pace to run rings around the defender, as well as attacking flair which adds an unpredictable edge to his bow; you are unsure of what he is going to do next, which he always delivers to devastating effect.

Chance to shine, when will it come?

In a star-studded team such as Chelsea’s, it is often hard for players to get the first-team opportunities they need to prove themselves at the highest level. Andre Schurrle, Kevin de Bruyne and even more recently, Mohamed Salah are three prime examples of this; they’ve gone onto pastures new and flourished with the prospect of playing regular football spurring them on to success at their respective clubs (AS and KDB, Wolfsburg; Salah at Fiorentina).

Jose Mourinho named Solanke as a first-team player towards the start of this season, but he is so far yet to start a competitive match for the senior team, something he’ll be eager and raring to do in the coming months. He has been on the substitutes’ bench on numerous occasions, which will do wonders for his confidence and help him experience the rigours of the Premier League, but the collective feeling is that Solanke needs minutes under his belt, whether that be for Chelsea or another club in Europe.

The most feasible option at the moment? Solanke has to be patient it seems, especially with Mourinho’s attacking headache at the moment, the youngster may find chances hard to come by, but his potential and obvious talent are too blatant not to look out for.