Gareth Southgate names England under-21 squad for Toulon Tournament

The former Middlesbrough man has named 20 players to travel to the South of France later this month.

Gareth Southgate names England under-21 squad for Toulon Tournament
England's under-21s will hoping to better the fourth-place finishes they have managed in South France the last two years. (Photo: FA)

Gareth Southgate has named his England under-21 squad to take part in this month's Toulon Tournament.

The 20-man group contains Aston Villa youngster Jack Grealish, who will be putting on the white shirt for the first time after choosing to play for the Three Lions over the Republic of Ireland, who he qualifies to represent through his grandparents.

Southgate's side are part of a five-team group that consists of some intriguing opposition. They begin their campaign on May 19 against Portugal, before taking on Guinea on May 23. They will then face Paraguay and Japan on May 25 and May 27 respectively to close out the group stage.

If they top their group or finish second, they will then play a fifth game on May 29.

Experienced squad

Despite youth and inexperience seeming to contrast, Southgate has a significantly experienced squad on his hands for this tournament.

Eleven of the 20 have played in the Toulon Tournament in the past; three in 2014 and eight last year. Nathan Redmond, James Ward-Prowse and Cauley Woodrow all joined Southgate in South France two summers ago, while the rest were there with Aidy Boothroyd last summer.

England finished second in their group last time they attended the competition, progressing to a third-placed play-off with the USA. However, they fell to a 2-1 defeat in that game as the Americans scored twice from the spot - either side of a strike from Kortney Hause, who is in the squad again this year.

The Three Lions also finished fourth in 2014, losing 1-0 to Portugal in the clash for third, and will be hoping to go at least one better this time round.

Rashford absent due to FA Cup final

One big omission from the squad is that of Marcus Rashford, who has hit the ground running since being granted a chance in Manchester United's first team this season.

The 18-year-old has scored seven goals in his first 16 games for the Red Devils, but he misses out on the chance to head to South France this summer because of his club's participation in the FA Cup final.

Speculation has since begun suggesting that his omission could be because Roy Hodgson is taking him to Euro 2016 with the seniors, but this is nothing more than wild rumours, with him far too unproven to be taken a gamble on at a senior major tournament before even being capped.

Rashford won't be leading the line for Southgate's young England side this month. (Photo: Sky Sports)
Rashford won't be leading the line for Southgate's young England side this month. (Photo: Sky Sports)

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn (Manchester City), Jordan Pickford (Sunderland).

Defenders: Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Brendan Galloway (Everton), Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Jack Stephens (Southampton), Matt Targett (Southampton).

Midfielders: Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem, loan from Chelsea), Matt Grimes (Swansea City), Nathaniel Chalobah (Napoli, loan from Chelsea), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), John Swift (Chelsea), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Kasey Palmer (Chelsea).

Forwards: Nathan Redmond (Norwich City), Duncan Watmore (Sunderland), Cauley Woodrow (Fulham).