England Under-21
Nickname(s)The Young Lions
AssociationThe Football Association
Head coachLee Carsley
Most capsJames Milner (46)
Top scorerEddie Nketiah (16)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 England 0–0 Wales 
(Wolverhampton, England; 15 December 1976)
Biggest win
 England 9–0 San Marino 
(Shrewsbury, England; 19 November 2013)
Biggest defeat
 Romania 4–0 England 
(Ploieşti, Romania; 14 October 1980)
 England 0–4 Spain 
(Birmingham, England; 27 February 2001)
 Germany 4–0 England 
(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

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

Position Staff
Manager Republic of Ireland Lee Carsley
Assistant Manager England Ashley Cole
Goalkeeping Coach England Timothy Dittmer
Coach Scotland Iffy Onoura

Source:[citation needed]

Competitive record

Main article: England's European Under-21 Football Championship 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 record Manager(s)
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Europe 1978 Semi-Finals 4th of 8 4 1 2 1 4 4 4 4 0 0 17 2 Sexton
Europe 1980 Semi-Finals 3rd of 8 4 1 1 2 4 4 4 4 0 0 11 2 Sexton
Europe 1982 Champions 1st of 8 6 3 2 1 11 8 6 4 1 1 12 5 Sexton
Europe 1984 Champions 1st of 8 6 5 0 1 13 3 6 5 0 1 13 4 Sexton
Europe 1986 Semi-Finals 4th of 8 4 1 2 1 3 4 6 3 2 1 9 3 Sexton
Europe 1988 Semi-Finals 3rd of 8 4 2 1 1 6 6 4 1 3 0 7 3 Sexton
Europe 1990 Did not qualify 6 4 1 1 10 5 Sexton
Europe 1992 Did not qualify 6 3 1 2 11 5 McMenemy
France 1994 Did not qualify 10 4 3 3 20 8 McMenemy
Spain 1996 Did not qualify 8 6 1 1 13 4 Sexton
Romania 1998 Did not qualify 10 6 3 1 11 5 Taylor
Slovakia 2000 Group Stage 5th of 8 3 1 0 2 6 4 9 8 0 1 26 3 Taylor, Reid, Wilkinson[12]
Switzerland 2002 Group Stage 7th of 8 3 1 0 2 4 6 8 5 2 1 18 8 Wilkinson Platt[13]
Germany 2004 Did not qualify 8 3 2 3 14 10 Platt
Portugal 2006 Did not qualify 12 6 4 2 23 10 Taylor
Netherlands 2007 Semi-Finals 3rd of 8 4 1 3 0 5 3 4 3 1 0 8 4 Taylor, Pearce[14]
Sweden 2009 Runners-Up 2nd of 8 5 2 2 1 8 9 10 8 2 0 22 5 Pearce
Denmark 2011 Group Stage 7th of 8 3 0 2 1 2 3 10 6 3 1 17 8 Pearce
Israel 2013 Group Stage 7th of 8 3 0 0 3 1 5 10 9 0 1 26 3 Pearce
Czech Republic 2015 Group Stage 7th of 8 3 1 0 2 2 4 12 11 1 0 35 4 Southgate
Poland 2017 Semi-Finals 3rd of 12 4 2 2 0 7 3 8 6 2 0 20 3 Southgate, Boothroyd[15]
Italy 2019 Group Stage 9th of 12 3 0 1 2 6 9 10 8 2 0 23 4 Boothroyd
Slovenia Hungary 2021 Group Stage 12th of 16 3 1 0 2 2 4 10 9 1 0 34 9 Boothroyd
Total 2 titles 16/23 62 22 18 22 84 79 181 126 35 20 400 117

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

Main articles: England national under-21 football team results (2020–present), England national under-21 football team results (2000–2019), and England national under-21 football team results (1976–99)

2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship

Main article: 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship

Qualification

Main article: 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification

Group stage
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  England 10 8 1 1 26 7 +19 25 Final tournament 3–1 1–2 2–0 3–0 4–1
2  Czech Republic 10 7 1 2 23 6 +17 22 Play-offs 1–2 1–0 3–0 4–0 7–0
3  Slovenia 10 4 4 2 11 7 +4 16 2–2 1–1 0–0 3–0 2–0
4  Kosovo 10 3 3 4 8 13 −5 12 0–5 0–1 0–0 2–1 2–0
5  Albania 10 3 1 6 9 17 −8 10 0–3 0–1 2–0 1–1 2–0
6  Andorra 10 0 0 10 1 28 −27 0 0–1 0–3 0–1 0–3 0–3
Source: UEFA

Records

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Most capped players

# Name Career Clubs Caps Goals
1 James Milner 2004–2009 Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa 46 9
2 Nathaniel Chalobah 2012–2017 Chelsea 40 1
3 Nathan Redmond 2013–2017 Birmingham City, Norwich City, Southampton 38 10
4 Tom Huddlestone 2005–2009 Derby County, Tottenham Hotspur 33 5
Fabrice Muamba 2007–2011 Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers 33 0
6 James Ward-Prowse 2013–2017 Southampton 31 6
7 Michael Mancienne 2007–2011 Chelsea, Hamburger SV 30 1
8 Scott Carson 2004–2007 Leeds United, Liverpool 29 0
Danny Rose 2009–2013 Tottenham Hotspur 29 3
Steven Taylor 2004–2009 Newcastle United 29 4

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

Rank Player Club(s) Goals Caps
1 Eddie Nketiah Arsenal 16 17
2 Alan Shearer Southampton, Newcastle 13 11
Francis Jeffers Everton, Arsenal 16
4 Saido Berahino West Bromwich Albion 11 12
5 Nathan Redmond Birmingham City, Norwich City, Southampton 10 38
6 Darren Bent Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic 9 14
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 games against Italy and Germany, to be played 22 and 27 September 2022.[16]

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. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Josef Bursik (2000-07-12) 12 July 2000 (age 22) 9 0 England Stoke City
22 1GK James Trafford (2002-10-10) 10 October 2002 (age 19) 1 0 England Bolton Wanderers (on loan from Manchester City)
13 1GK Josh Griffiths (2001-09-05) 5 September 2001 (age 21) 0 0 England Portsmouth (on loan from West Bromwich Albion)

2 2DF Max Aarons (2000-01-04) 4 January 2000 (age 22) 18 0 England Norwich City
3 2DF Ryan Sessegnon (2000-05-18) 18 May 2000 (age 22) 18 1 England Tottenham Hotspur
5 2DF Taylor Harwood-Bellis (2002-01-30) 30 January 2002 (age 20) 11 0 England Burnley (on loan from Manchester City)
17 2DF Luke Thomas (2001-06-10) 10 June 2001 (age 21) 8 0 England Leicester City
15 2DF Charlie Cresswell (2002-08-17) 17 August 2002 (age 20) 6 0 England Millwall (on loan from Leeds United)
12 2DF Djed Spence (2000-08-09) 9 August 2000 (age 22) 3 0 England Tottenham Hotspur
4 2DF Levi Colwill (2003-02-26) 26 February 2003 (age 19) 2 0 England Brighton & Hove Albion (on loan from Chelsea)
16 2DF Luke Mbete (2003-09-18) 18 September 2003 (age 19) 0 0 England Huddersfield Town (on loan from Manchester City)

6 3MF Oliver Skipp (2000-09-16) 16 September 2000 (age 22) 14 0 England Tottenham Hotspur
10 3MF Conor Gallagher (2000-02-06) 6 February 2000 (age 22) 13 2 England Chelsea
3MF Morgan Gibbs-White (2000-01-27) 27 January 2000 (age 22) 10 1 England Nottingham Forest
14 3MF James Garner (2001-03-13) 13 March 2001 (age 21) 7 0 England Everton
8 3MF Jacob Ramsey (2001-05-28) 28 May 2001 (age 21) 7 2 England Aston Villa
18 3MF Tommy Doyle (2001-10-17) 17 October 2001 (age 20) 6 0 England Sheffield United (on loan from Manchester City)
19 3MF Harvey Elliott (2003-04-04) 4 April 2003 (age 19) 3 0 England Liverpool
21 3MF James McAtee (2002-10-18) 18 October 2002 (age 19) 1 0 England Sheffield United (on loan from Manchester City)

7 4FW Rhian Brewster (2000-04-01) 1 April 2000 (age 22) 16 1 England Sheffield United
9 4FW Folarin Balogun (2001-07-03) 3 July 2001 (age 21) 11 6 France Reims (on loan from Arsenal)
20 4FW Angel Gomes (2000-08-31) 31 August 2000 (age 22) 9 0 France Lille
11 4FW Anthony Gordon (2001-02-24) 24 February 2001 (age 21) 7 4 England Everton
4FW Keane Lewis-Potter (2001-02-22) 22 February 2001 (age 21) 4 1 England Brentford
23 4FW Cole Palmer (2002-05-06) 6 May 2002 (age 20) 4 2 England Manchester City

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. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Carl Rushworth (2001-07-02) 2 July 2001 (age 21) 0 0 England Lincoln City (on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion) v.  Czech Republic,  Albania,  Kosovo,  Slovenia, 3–13 June 2022[17]
GK Etienne Green (2000-07-19) 19 July 2000 (age 22) 2 0 France Saint-Étienne v.  Andorra,  Albania, 25–29 March 2022[18]

DF Ben Johnson (2000-01-24) 24 January 2000 (age 22) 4 0 England West Ham United v.  Czech Republic,  Albania,  Kosovo,  Slovenia, 3–13 June 2022[17]
DF James Hill (2002-01-10) 10 January 2002 (age 20) 1 0 England Bournemouth v.  Czech Republic,  Albania,  Kosovo,  Slovenia, 3–13 June 2022[17]
DF Tino Livramento (2002-11-12) 12 November 2002 (age 19) 5 0 England Southampton v.  Andorra,  Albania, 25–29 March 2022[18]
DF Lee Buchanan (2001-03-07) 7 March 2001 (age 21) 2 0 Germany Werder Bremen v.  Andorra,  Albania, 25–29 March 2022[18]
DF Tariq Lamptey (2000-09-30) 30 September 2000 (age 22) 2 0 England Brighton & Hove Albion v.  Andorra,  Albania, 25–29, March 2022 INJ[19]
DF Marc Guéhi (2000-07-13) 13 July 2000 (age 22) 16 1 England Crystal Palace v.  Czech Republic,  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021[20]
DF Cody Drameh (2001-12-08) 8 December 2001 (age 20) 1 0 England Leeds United v.  Czech Republic,  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021[20]
DF Clinton Mola (2001-03-15) 15 March 2001 (age 21) 1 0 England Blackburn Rovers (on loan from VfB Stuttgart) v.  Czech Republic,  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021[20]

MF Curtis Jones (2001-01-30) 30 January 2001 (age 21) 12 3 England Liverpool v.  Czech Republic,  Albania,  Kosovo,  Slovenia, 3–13 June 2022[17]
MF Emile Smith Rowe (2000-07-28) 28 July 2000 (age 22) 7 2 England Arsenal v.  Czech Republic,  Albania,  Kosovo,  Slovenia, 3–13 June 2022[17]
MF Aaron Ramsey (2003-01-21) 21 January 2003 (age 19) 0 0 England Norwich City (on loan from Aston Villa) v.  Kosovo, 7 September 2021[21]

FW Cameron Archer (2001-12-09) 9 December 2001 (age 20) 4 4 England Aston Villa v.  Czech Republic,  Albania,  Kosovo,  Slovenia, 3–13 June 2022[17]
FW Noni Madueke (2002-03-10) 10 March 2002 (age 20) 4 0 Netherlands PSV v.  Andorra,  Albania, 25–29 March 2022[18]
FW Sam Greenwood (2002-01-26) 26 January 2002 (age 20) 1 1 England Leeds United v.  Czech Republic,  Georgia, 11–16 November 2021[22]
FW Tyreece John-Jules (2001-02-14) 14 February 2001 (age 21) 2 0 England Ipswich Town (on loan from Arsenal) v.  Slovenia,  Andorra, 7–11 October 2021[23]
FW Joe Gelhardt (2002-05-04) 4 May 2002 (age 20) 0 0 England Leeds United v.  Slovenia,  Andorra, 7–11 October 2021[23]

Past squads

References

  1. ^ BBC News – Wembley opener attracts thousands
  2. ^ "Wembley game 'sold out' in hours". BBC News. 13 March 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  3. ^ The Guardian – Early set-back on Wembley's big day
  4. ^ a b Veevers, Nicholas (28 September 2016). "Aidy Boothroyd set to take on England Under-21s position". The Football Association. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Pearce named England U21 manager". BBC Sport. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Stuart Pearce: England Under-21 boss to leave role". BBC Sport. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Roy Hodgson and Ray Lewington to manage England Under-21s against Scotland". thefa.com. Archived from the original on 3 August 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  8. ^ "England Under-21s thrash Scotland 6-0 in friendly". BBC News. 13 August 2013.
  9. ^ "Gareth Southgate named England Under-21 boss". BBC News. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Aidy Boothroyd takes permanent charge of England Under-21 team". BBC Sport. 3 February 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Lee Carsley named England MU21s coach". www.englandfootball.com. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  12. ^ Taylor managed the first five qualifiers, Reid managed one: Wilkinson managed the remainder of qualification and the finals campaign.
  13. ^ Wilkinson resigned after the first five qualifiers, Platt managed the remainder of qualification and the finals campaign.
  14. ^ Taylor managed the qualification campaign. He left before the tournament and was replaced by Pearce.
  15. ^ Southgate managed the first six qualifiers, while Boothroyd managed the rest of the qualifiers and the finals campaign.
  16. ^ "England men's Under-21 squad for games with Italy and Germany". England Football. 16 September 2022. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  17. ^ a b c d e f "England MU21s squad named for June's EURO qualifiers". England Football. 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  18. ^ a b c d "England MU21 squad for qualifiers with Andorra and Albania". England Football. 18 March 2022. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  19. ^ "Squad updates: Stones joins Saka in leaving England camp". England Football. 28 March 2022. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  20. ^ a b c "Fleetwood Town and Everton youngsters receive maiden England MU21s call-ups". England Football. 5 November 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ "Ramsey called up to England U21s". BBC Sport. 6 September 2021. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  22. ^ "Gallagher gets first England call". England Football. 14 November 2021. Retrieved 7 February 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ a b "Carsley includes Angel Gomes in England MU21s squad". England Football. 2 October 2021. Retrieved 2 October 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)