Gareth Southgate praises Leicester's youth policy following Foxes' call-ups

Gareth Southgate praises Leicester's youth policy following Foxes' call-ups

The England manager saved special praise after Leicester duo Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray were called-up into the England senior team.

Daniel Orme

England boss Gareth Southgate has praised Leicester City's youth policy after handing Foxes' duo Demarai Gray and Ben Chilwell their maiden call-ups into the Three Lions' senior squad.

Having been regulars for the Under 21 national side, the pair were called into the squad due to a number of injuries and could make their debuts against Switzerland ironically at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday evening.

'Leicester are a really well-run club'

Both Chilwell and Gray have enjoyed positive starts to the 2018/19 Premier League season having appeared in all of Leicester's games so far. Southgate says that Claude Puel and his backroom team deserve credit for the youngsters' progression into the England first team.

Talking ahead of the game in the East Midlands, he said: "They've [Leicester] put a lot of time into their recruitment to be able to identify the likes of Harry [Maguire] ahead of other clubs and be brave enough to put young players in.

"Leicester are a really well-run club. Claude [Puel] is a manager who has been brave enough to do that here.”

The East Midlands outfit currently boast a youthful set-up at the King Power Stadium having blooded youngsters such as Chilwell, Gray, James Maddison, Wilfred Ndidi, Fousseni Diabate and Hamza Choudhury into top-flight football in recent years. Many of them have adapted to Premier League football well and Southgate states that the club's focus on youth should be highlighted.

He said: "I know Jon Rudkin (Leicester's Director of Football) very well and they've put a lot of time into their recruitment and put some good young players into the squad."

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'It's a good moment'

Chilwell was called into the squad due to the injury to Luke Shaw despite the Three Lions already having the likes of Ryan Bertrand, Fabian Delph and Leighton Baines capable of deputising.

However, Southgate suggested the Foxes' academy graduate's inclusion was justified following his positive start to the campaign and could bring numerous attributes to the national side. After all, he is a player he knows well having handed the defender his debut for the England U21's back in 2016.

Southgate said: "It's a good moment for Ben, he's pushing hard for a position on the left side. He's good with the ball and an athlete."