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Liverpool's Joe Gomez earns England U21 call up

Joe Gomez of Liverpool
Image: Joe Gomez has received his first England U21 call-up

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has been called up to the England U21 squad for the first time following his impressive start to the new season.

Gomez has started all three of Liverpool's Premier League matches so far this season since joining from Championship side Charlton Athletic in the summer.

The 18-year-old is joined in the squad by team-mate Jordon Ibe with manager Gareth Southgate keen to introduce fresh blood to his squad before the start of their Euro U21 qualifying campaign. 

"Joe was a big decision for us because we are moving him out of his age group. But he played up an age group with the under-19s last year and was the best defender in that group," Southgate told Sky Sports News HQ

The Gomez effect
The Gomez effect

Teenage signing Joe Gomez has already helped improve Liverpool's defending this season

"He's obviously started extremely well at Liverpool and has coped with that move, playing at Anfield and playing Premier League football. So we feel he's in on merit and feel the right challenge for him internationally is to be with the under-21 group." 

Joe Gomez: Liverpool
Image: Gareth Southgate is glad to have Gomez in his squad

Former Aston Villa and Norwich manager Paul Lambert feels the left-back fully deserves the call-up, but says he must continue to focus on maintaining a place in Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool side.

"It's obviously a good step. Brendan obviously knows him from being at Charlton and he's fitted in with them really, really well," Lambert told Sky Sports News HQ

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"I think this lad can make this position his own (at Liverpool) and if he keeps progressing the way he is and that's what I expect him to do. If I was him, I would make sure that position is my own and then the England thing falls into place. But the way he is performing he certainly deserves it."

Dele Alli of Tottenham is challenged by Andy King of Leicester
Image: Spurs' Dele Alli (left) is included in Gareth Southgate's squad

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli is also included in the England U21 set up for the first time after scoring his first Premier League goal at the weekend in his side's 1-1 draw with Leicester. 

There are also maiden call-ups for Preston goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, Wolverhampton Wanderers duo Kortney Hause and Dominic Iorfa and Everton defender Brendan Galloway. 

England face USA's U23 Olympic hopefuls in a friendly at Deepdale on Thursday September 3 before beginning their qualifying campaign in Norway on Monday September 7. 

Brendan Galloway had a good 90 minutes against Stoke
Image: Brendan Galloway (right) has also earned a call-up

England U21 squad to face USA U23s and Norway U21s:

Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn, Jordan Pickford, Christian Walton.

Defenders: Calum Chambers, Eric Dier, Brendan Galloway, Joe Gomez, Kortney Hause, Dominic Iorfa, Jack Stephens, Matt Targett.

Midfielders: Dele Alli, Nathaniel Chalobah, Jake Forster-Caskey, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, James Ward-Prowse.

Forwards: Chuba Akpom, Jordon Ibe, Solly March, Nathan Redmond, Duncan Watmore, James Wilson, Cauley Woodrow.

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