Aidy Boothroyd praises England pathway for young players
By Alex Marrow
Last Updated: 25/03/19 7:42pm
England U21s manager Aidy Boothroyd says playing for England has never been better, ahead of Tuesday’s match against Germany U21s.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was called up to the men's senior squad and made his debut for Gareth Southgate's side against the Czech Republic.
Boothroyd, whose U21 side were held by Poland U21s to a 1-1 draw at Ashton gate on Thursday, says the pathway from the youth teams to the senior squad is working very well at the moment.
"I don't think there has ever been a better time to be an England player," said Boothroyd. "When you look at some of the players going through, when Callum went, that's eight players going through.
"It is clear, everybody knows, the players especially, that if they perform well they've got a chance because there's a manager who wants to play them.
"But we want to get better and keep supplying Gareth with good players."
Hudson-Odoi, who was named in Southgate's starting line-up for Monday's European Qualifier against Montenegro, has not started a Premier League game for Chelsea.
Boothroyd said it would be Gareth's decision as to whether Hudson-Odoi plays for the senior side in this summer's inaugural Nations League finals, or features for his side at the U21 European Championships, but explained the way players win their England caps is changing.
"Players used to get 50 or 60 caps in the top leagues and would go through a process to play for England," said Boothroyd. "What Gareth has done is really smart in getting players who are just good players and we're putting conventional wisdom aside.
"If a player is talented enough we do what we can to fast track them."
Hudson-Odoi had linked up with the U21s before being called up to the senior squad and Bournemouth's Dominic Solanke joked that the rest of the U21s squad only saw him for 10 minutes.
Solanke congratulated his friend and team-mate on his call-up to the senior squad, saying it is something all U21s players strive for.
"I'm so happy he made his England senior debut the other night," said Solanke. "He came here for a little bit before he went up there so I saw him for 10 minutes, but everyone is really happy here.
"Everyone is thriving around and seeing the young boys going up is really good for us and we'll be looking to do that as well."