England national under-21 football team

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Contents

England Under-21
Nickname(s) The Young Lions
Association The Football Association
Head coach Lee Carsley
Most caps James Milner (46)
Top scorer Eddie Nketiah (16)
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First colours
Kit left arm eng20A.png
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Second colours
First international
Flag of England.svg  England 0–0 Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg
(Wolverhampton, England; 15 December 1976)
Biggest win
Flag of England.svg  England 9–0 San Marino  Flag of San Marino.svg
(Shrewsbury, England; 19 November 2013)
Biggest defeat
Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg  Romania 4–0 England  Flag of England.svg
(Ploieşti, Romania; 14 October 1980)
Flag of England.svg  England 0–4 Spain  Flag of Spain.svg
(Birmingham, England; 27 February 2001)
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 4–0 England  Flag of England.svg
(Malmö, Sweden; 29 June 2009)
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances17 (first in 1978 )
Best resultWinners: (2) 1982, 1984

The England national under-21 football team, also known as England under-21s or England U21(s), is considered to be the feeder team for the England national football team.

This team is for England players aged under 21 at the start of the calendar year in which a two-year European Under-21 Football Championship campaign begins, so some players can remain with the squad until the age of 23. As long as they are eligible, players can play for England at any level, making it possible to play for the U21s, senior side, and again for the U21s, as Jack Butland, Harry Kane, Calum Chambers and John Stones have done. It is also possible to play for one country at youth level and another at senior level (providing the player has not played a senior competitive game in his previous country).

The U21 team came into existence in 1976, following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions. A goalless draw in a friendly against Wales at Wolverhampton Wanderers' Molineux Stadium was England U21s' first result.

England U21s do not have a permanent home. They play in stadia across England, in an attempt to encourage younger fans in all areas of the country to attend matches. Because of the lower demand compared to the senior national team, smaller grounds can be used. The record attendance for an England U21 match was set on 24 March 2007, when England U21 played Italy U21 in front of a crowd of just under 60,000 at the new Wembley Stadium, also a world record attendance for a U21 game. [1] The match was one of the required two events the stadium hosted in order to gain its safety certificate in time for its full-capacity opening for the 2007 FA Cup Final in May. [2] [3]

Coaching staff

Head coach

TenureHead Coach/Manager
1977–1990 Flag of England.svg Dave Sexton
1990–1993 Flag of England.svg Lawrie McMenemy
1994–1996 Flag of England.svg Dave Sexton
1996–1999 Flag of England.svg Peter Taylor
1999 Flag of England.svg Peter Reid
1999–2001 Flag of England.svg Howard Wilkinson
2001–2004 Flag of England.svg David Platt
2004–2007 Flag of England.svg Peter Taylor
2007–2013 Flag of England.svg Stuart Pearce
2013–2016 Flag of England.svg Gareth Southgate
2016–2021 [4] Flag of England.svg Aidy Boothroyd
2021– Flag of Ireland.svg Lee Carsley

The original and most successful coach is Dave Sexton, who led the U21s from 1977 to 1990. In this period he combined his duties with managing the top-flight clubs Manchester United (1977–1981) and Coventry City (1981–1983). After Coventry he took a position within the FA as their first Technical Director, at Lilleshall. He handed over U21 responsibilities to England manager Graham Taylor's assistant Lawrie McMenemy for three years before resuming control from 1994 to 1996.

Peter Taylor took over in 1996 and, although never winning a tournament, his teams had an excellent record. He was controversially removed from the position in early 1999, however, and replaced initially by Peter Reid, who resigned after just one match in charge to dedicate more time to his other job as manager of Sunderland. Howard Wilkinson took over afterwards, yet could only produce four wins in ten competitive matches and quit after a year and a half in charge. David Platt took charge leaving his job at Nottingham Forest. Platt was U21 boss from 2001 to 2004, but had little success before Taylor's return. Taylor left in January 2007, as the senior national manager Steve McClaren wanted the U21s to have a full-time manager. Taylor, at the time, was combining his duties with his role as Crystal Palace boss.

On 1 February 2007, Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce was appointed as head coach on a part-time basis until after the European Championships in the summer of 2007. Nigel Pearson, Newcastle United's assistant manager, agreed to become Pearce's assistant. Their first match in charge was a 2–2 draw against Spain on 6 February 2007 at Derby County's Pride Park Stadium. For the match against Italy Nigel Pearson took charge as Stuart Pearce had club commitments. Steve Wigley assisted Pearson.

Pearce was dismissed as Manchester City manager on 14 May 2007, before the 2007 European Championships, but on 19 July 2007 he was named full-time U21s coach. [5] He remained in the post until June 2013, when it was announced that his contract would not be renewed. [6] On 31 July, the FA announced that England senior manager Roy Hodgson would take charge of an England U21 friendly match against Scotland at Bramall Lane, [7] the match ended in a 6–0 win for Hodgson's side. [8] Former England international Gareth Southgate was made manager of the under-21 team on 22 August. [9]

In September 2016, Southgate was appointed to the temporary position of caretaker manager of the England senior side after the departure of Sam Allardyce. With Southgate overseeing the main team for four games, Aidy Boothroyd, the England under-20 manager, was appointed caretaker manager of the under-21s until Southgate's return. [4] In February 2017, Boothroyd was confirmed as the permanent manager. [10] Boothroyd left the role on in April 2021 following a disappointing European Championship campaign.

On 27 July 2021, Lee Carsley was promoted from his role with the England U20s to become the head coach of the U21s with Ashley Cole appointed as his assistant. [11]

U21 Coaching staff

PositionStaff
Manager Flag of Ireland.svg Lee Carsley
Assistant ManagerAshley Cole
Goalkeeping Coach Flag of England.svg Timothy Dittmer
Coach Flag of Scotland.svg Iffy Onoura

Source: [ citation needed ]

Competitive record

As a European U21 team, England compete for the European Championship, with the finals every odd-numbered year, formerly even-numbered years. There is no Under-21 World Cup, although there is an U20 World Cup. For the first six (1978–1988) European Under-21 Football Championships, England did well, getting knocked out in the semi-finals on four occasions and winning the competition in 1982 and 1984. Then, as one might expect with a rapid turnover of players, followed a lean period.

After losing to France in the 1988 semi-final, England then failed to qualify for the last eight for five whole campaigns. In the qualifying stages for the 1998 tournament, England won their group, but fate was not on their side. Because there were nine groups, and only eight places, the two group-winning nations with worst records had to a play-off to eliminate one of them. England lost the away leg of this extra qualifying round and were eliminated on away goals to Greece. In effect, England finished ninth in the competition despite losing only one of their ten matches.

England qualified for the 2000 finals comfortably. Under the 1996-appointed Peter Taylor England won every match without conceding a goal. But with 3 matches to play, Taylor was replaced in a controversial manner by Howard Wilkinson, who won the next two matches. The three goals conceded in the 3–1 defeat to group runners-up Poland were the only blemish on the team's qualifying record. England got knocked out in the group stage of the European Championship finals in 2000 under Wilkinson.

After enlisting former international star David Platt as manager, England qualified for the 2002 tournament in Switzerland. Again England did poorly in the group stage. Platt's England failed to qualify for the 2004 tournament and he was replaced by the returning Peter Taylor. Taylor's England qualified from the group but lost to a strong France team in a two-legged playoff and failed to qualify for the 2006 tournament.

The next campaign started shortly after the 2006 finals – the qualification stage of the 2007 competition. UEFA decided to shift the tournament forward to avoid a clash with senior tournaments taking place in even-numbered years. The qualification stage was heavily reduced, being completed in a year's less time. In a 3-team qualification group, England qualified over Switzerland and Moldova, and then won a two-legged play-off with Germany to qualify for the finals to be held in the Netherlands. At the tournament, England progressed through to the semi-finals where they led for the majority of the match against the hosts. However, after a late equaliser and a marathon penalty shootout, England were eliminated.

In 2009, England finished as runners-up, losing 4–0 to Germany in the final.

England finished second in their qualifying group for the 2011 championships in Denmark. They subsequently defeated Romania in the play-offs to qualify for the finals tournament, where they were knocked out in the group stage after a 2–1 defeat to the Czech Republic. England also subsequently exited the 2013 and 2015 Finals tournaments at the group stage, reached the last 4 in 2017, before again exiting at the group stage in 2019 and 2021.

UEFA European Under-21 Championship record UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification recordManager(s)
YearRoundPositionPldWD *LGFGAPldWDLGFGA
Flag of Europe.svg 1978 Semi-Finals4th of 84121444400172 Sexton
Flag of Europe.svg 1980 Semi-Finals3rd of 84112444400112Sexton
Flag of Europe.svg 1982 Champions1st of 863211186411125Sexton
Flag of Europe.svg 1984 Champions1st of 865011336501134Sexton
Flag of Europe.svg 1986 Semi-Finals4th of 8412134632193Sexton
Flag of Europe.svg 1988 Semi-Finals3rd of 8421166413073Sexton
Flag of Europe.svg 1990 Did not qualify6411105Sexton
Flag of Europe.svg 1992 Did not qualify6312115 McMenemy
Flag of France.svg 1994 Did not qualify10433208McMenemy
Flag of Spain.svg 1996 Did not qualify8611134Sexton
Flag of Romania.svg 1998 Did not qualify10631115 Taylor
Flag of Slovakia.svg 2000 Group Stage5th of 83102649801263Taylor, Reid, Wilkinson [12]
Flag of Switzerland.svg 2002 Group Stage7th of 83102468521188Wilkinson Platt [13]
Flag of Germany.svg 2004 Did not qualify83231410Platt
Flag of Portugal.svg 2006 Did not qualify126422310Taylor
Flag of the Netherlands.svg 2007 Semi-Finals3rd of 8413053431084Taylor, Pearce [14]
Flag of Sweden.svg 2009 Runners-Up2nd of 852218910820225Pearce
Flag of Denmark.svg 2011 Group Stage7th of 830212310631178Pearce
Flag of Israel.svg 2013 Group Stage7th of 830031510901263Pearce
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg 2015 Group Stage7th of 8310224121110354 Southgate
Flag of Poland.svg 2017 Semi-Finals3rd of 124220738620203Southgate, Boothroyd [15]
Flag of Italy.svg 2019 Group Stage9th of 1230126910820234Boothroyd
Flag of Slovenia.svg Flag of Hungary.svg 2021 Group Stage12th of 1631022410910349Boothroyd
Total2 titles16/236222182284791811263520400117

Note: The year of the tournament represents the year in which it ends.

*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Media coverage

England Euro qualifiers and friendlies are currently broadcast by Sky Sports.

Results and fixtures

2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship

Qualification

Group stage
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualificationFlag of England.svgFlag of the Czech Republic.svgFlag of Slovenia.svgFlag of Kosovo.svgFlag of Albania.svgFlag of Andorra.svg
1Flag of England.svg  England 10811267+1925 Final tournament 3–1 1–2 2–0 3–0 4–1
2Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 10712236+1722 Play-offs 1–2 1–0 3–0 4–0 7–0
3Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia 10442117+416 2–2 1–1 0–0 3–0 2–0
4Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo 10334813512 0–5 0–1 0–0 2–1 2–0
5Flag of Albania.svg  Albania 10316917810 0–3 0–1 2–0 1–1 2–0
6Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra 100010128270 0–1 0–3 0–1 0–3 0–3
Source: UEFA

Records

Most capped players

#NameCareerClubsCapsGoals
1 James Milner 2004–2009 Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa 469
2 Nathaniel Chalobah 2012–2017 Chelsea 401
3 Nathan Redmond 2013–2017 Birmingham City, Norwich City, Southampton 3810
4 Tom Huddlestone 2005–2009 Derby County, Tottenham Hotspur 335
Fabrice Muamba 2007–2011 Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers 330
6 James Ward-Prowse 2013–2017 Southampton 316
7 Michael Mancienne 2007–2011 Chelsea, Hamburger SV 301
8 Scott Carson 2004–2007 Leeds United, Liverpool 290
Danny Rose 2009–2013 Tottenham Hotspur 293
Steven Taylor 2004–2009 Newcastle United 294

Note:Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s. Those players in bold are still eligible to play for the team.

Leading goalscorers

RankPlayerClub(s)GoalsCaps
1 Eddie Nketiah Arsenal 1617
2 Alan Shearer Southampton, Newcastle 1311
Francis Jeffers Everton, Arsenal 16
4 Saido Berahino West Bromwich Albion 1112
5 Nathan Redmond Birmingham City, Norwich City, Southampton 1038
6 Darren Bent Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic 914
Dominic Solanke Chelsea, Liverpool, AFC Bournemouth 18
Frank Lampard West Ham United 19
Tammy Abraham Chelsea 26
James Milner Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa 46

Note:Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s. Those players in bold are still eligible to play for the team.

Players

Current squad

The following players were named in the squad for qualifiers against Czech Republic, Albania, Kosovo and Slovenia, to be played 3-13 June 2022. [16] [17]

Caps and goals updated as of 13 June 2022 after the match against Slovenia. Names in italics denote players who have been capped for the senior team.

No.Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClub
1 GK Josef Bursik (2000-07-12) 12 July 2000 (age 21)90 Flag of England.svg Stoke City
1 GK James Trafford (2002-10-10) 10 October 2002 (age 19)10 Flag of England.svg Manchester City
1 GK Carl Rushworth (2001-07-02) 2 July 2001 (age 20)00 Flag of England.svg Brighton & Hove Albion

2 DF Max Aarons (2000-01-04) 4 January 2000 (age 22)180 Flag of England.svg Norwich City
2 DF Taylor Harwood-Bellis (2002-01-30) 30 January 2002 (age 20)110 Flag of England.svg Manchester City
2 DF Luke Thomas (2001-06-10) 10 June 2001 (age 21)80 Flag of England.svg Leicester City
2 DF Charlie Cresswell (2002-08-17) 17 August 2002 (age 19)60 Flag of England.svg Leeds United
2 DF Ben Johnson (2000-01-24) 24 January 2000 (age 22)40 Flag of England.svg West Ham United
2 DF Djed Spence (2000-08-09) 9 August 2000 (age 21)30 Flag of England.svg Nottingham Forest (on loan from Middlesbrough)
2 DF Levi Colwill (2003-02-26) 26 February 2003 (age 19)20 Flag of England.svg Huddersfield Town (on loan from Chelsea)
2 DF James Hill (2002-01-10) 10 January 2002 (age 20)10 Flag of England.svg Bournemouth

3 MF Curtis Jones (2001-01-30) 30 January 2001 (age 21)123 Flag of England.svg Liverpool
3 MF Morgan Gibbs-White (2000-01-27) 27 January 2000 (age 22)101 Flag of England.svg Wolverhampton Wanderers
3 MF James Garner (2001-03-13) 13 March 2001 (age 21)70 Flag of England.svg Nottingham Forest (on loan from Manchester United)
3 MF Jacob Ramsey (2001-05-28) 28 May 2001 (age 21)72 Flag of England.svg Aston Villa
3 MF Tommy Doyle (2001-10-17) 17 October 2001 (age 20)60 Flag of England.svg Manchester City
3 MF Harvey Elliott (2003-04-04) 4 April 2003 (age 19)30 Flag of England.svg Liverpool
3 MF James McAtee (2002-10-18) 18 October 2002 (age 19)10 Flag of England.svg Manchester City

4 FW Folarin Balogun (2001-07-03) 3 July 2001 (age 20)116 Flag of England.svg Arsenal
4 FW Angel Gomes (2000-08-31) 31 August 2000 (age 21)90 Flag of France.svg Lille
4 FW Anthony Gordon (2001-02-24) 24 February 2001 (age 21)74 Flag of England.svg Everton
4 FW Emile Smith Rowe (2000-07-28) 28 July 2000 (age 21)72 Flag of England.svg Arsenal
4 FW Keane Lewis-Potter (2001-02-22) 22 February 2001 (age 21)41 Flag of England.svg Hull City
4 FW Cameron Archer (2001-12-09) 9 December 2001 (age 20)44 Flag of England.svg Aston Villa

Recent call-ups

The following players have previously been called up to the England under-21 squad in the last 12 months and remain eligible.

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClubLatest call-up
GK Etienne Green (2000-07-19) 19 July 2000 (age 21)20 Flag of France.svg Saint-Étienne v. Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra, Flag of Albania.svg  Albania, 25–29 March 2022 [18]
GK Josh Griffiths (2001-09-05) 5 September 2001 (age 20)00 Flag of England.svg West Bromwich Albion v. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic, Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021 [19]

DF Tino Livramento (2002-11-12) 12 November 2002 (age 19)50 Flag of England.svg Southampton v. Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra, Flag of Albania.svg  Albania, 25–29 March 2022 [18]
DF Lee Buchanan (2001-03-07) 7 March 2001 (age 21)20 Flag of England.svg Derby County v. Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra, Flag of Albania.svg  Albania, 25–29 March 2022 [18]
DF Tariq Lamptey (2000-09-30) 30 September 2000 (age 21)20 Flag of England.svg Brighton & Hove Albion v. Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra, Flag of Albania.svg  Albania, 25–29, March 2022 INJ [20]
DF Marc Guéhi (2000-07-13) 13 July 2000 (age 21)161 Flag of England.svg Crystal Palace v. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic, Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021 [19]
DF Cody Drameh (2001-12-08) 8 December 2001 (age 20)10 Flag of England.svg Leeds United v. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic, Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021 [19]
DF Clinton Mola (2001-03-15) 15 March 2001 (age 21)10 Flag of Germany.svg VfB Stuttgart v. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic, Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021 [19]

MF Ryan Sessegnon (2000-05-18) 18 May 2000 (age 22)181 Flag of England.svg Tottenham Hotspur v. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic, Flag of Albania.svg  Albania, Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo, Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia, 3–13 June 2022 INJ [17]
MF Oliver Skipp (2000-09-16) 16 September 2000 (age 21)140 Flag of England.svg Tottenham Hotspur v. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic, Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021 [19]
MF Conor Gallagher (2000-02-06) 6 February 2000 (age 22)132 Flag of England.svg Chelsea v. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic, Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021 SEN [21]
MF Cole Palmer (2002-05-06) 6 May 2002 (age 20)42 Flag of England.svg Manchester City v. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic, Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021 [19]
MF Aaron Ramsey (2003-01-21) 21 January 2003 (age 19)00 Flag of England.svg Aston Villa v. Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo, 7 September 2021 [22]

FW Noni Madueke (2002-03-10) 10 March 2002 (age 20)40 Flag of the Netherlands.svg PSV v. Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra, Flag of Albania.svg  Albania, 25–29 March 2022 [18]
FW Rhian Brewster (2000-04-01) 1 April 2000 (age 22)161 Flag of England.svg Sheffield United v. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic, Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021 [19]
FW Sam Greenwood (2002-01-26) 26 January 2002 (age 20)11 Flag of England.svg Leeds United v. Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic, Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021 [19]
FW Tyreece John-Jules (2001-02-14) 14 February 2001 (age 21)20 Flag of England.svg Arsenal v. Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia, Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra, 7–11 October 2021 [23]
FW Joe Gelhardt (2002-05-04) 4 May 2002 (age 20)00 Flag of England.svg Leeds United v. Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia, Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra, 7–11 October 2021 [23]

    Past squads

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