Which England U21 players should Gareth Southgate consider for Euro 2024

A number of youngsters will hope to make Gareth Southgate's England team next summer. (Getty Images)A number of youngsters will hope to make Gareth Southgate's England team next summer. (Getty Images)
A number of youngsters will hope to make Gareth Southgate's England team next summer. (Getty Images) | Getty Images
England won the Under-21 European Championships with six wins from six games - all without conceding a single goal

The Young Lions narrowly overcame 1-0 Spain in a nail biting final, which was ultimately decided by a dramatic penalty save from James Trafford.

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The result represents another triumph for the country’s youth set up after success in the Euros for the U19s in 2017 and 2022. Along with World Cup success for the U17s and U20s in 2017.

The Under-21 European Championships can often act as a platform to propel youngsters on to greater things in the senior game and many members of the class of 2023 will be hoping to earn a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad next summer with Euro 2024 on the horizon.

There have been a number of standout performances from England youngsters at this summer’s tournament in Georgia, but who is capable of gatecrashing the England team next summer ahead of the European Championships in Germany?

Here is everything you need to know.

Which England U21 players should Gareth Southgate consider for Euro 2024?

Gareth Southgate has less than a year to prepare his team for the European Championships in Germany and his side are currently in pole position to qualify for the tournament with four wins from four games in their qualification group.

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The Three Lions narrowly missed out on Euro glory in the final of 2020 but they are the joint favourites with France to win the tournament next summer, according to SkyBet.

Southgate has made a habit of picking young, fresh and hungry players in previous tournaments and he has always kept a close eye on the Under-21 team after an earlier spell as manager from 2013 to 2016.

With that in mind we take a look at some of the main contenders to make a breakthrough.

Goalkeeper: James Trafford - Manchester City

James Trafford kept six consecutive clean sheets in England's U21 Euro triumph. (Getty Images)James Trafford kept six consecutive clean sheets in England's U21 Euro triumph. (Getty Images)
James Trafford kept six consecutive clean sheets in England's U21 Euro triumph. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

James Trafford made history at the Under-21 European Championships by becoming the first keeper to win the Euros without conceding a single goal.

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That record was put to the test in the dying moments of the final but he made a tremendous penalty save to deny Spain forward Abel Ruiz.

Trafford’s form in the tournament is likely to attract interest from a number of team’s this summer including Burnley and the 6ft 6 goalkeeper is tipped to become a star after a tremendous loan spell at Bolton.

The young goalkeeper faces strong competition from established names such as Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale, along with Dean Henderson and Sam Johnstone.

It would take a sensational performance from Trafford to gatecrash the England team in the next 12 months but that is exactly what he produced at the European Championships.

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Centre back: Levi Colwill - Chelsea

Levi Colwill currently plays for Chelsea in the Premier League. (Getty Images)Levi Colwill currently plays for Chelsea in the Premier League. (Getty Images)
Levi Colwill currently plays for Chelsea in the Premier League. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Levi Colwill has already shown signs of promise in the Premier League after a strong loan spell at Brighton and he is likely to be on Gareth Southgate’s radar this season.

Colwill silenced many of Europe’s young attackers over the course of the six game tournament in Georgia, and he has already trained with the senior team in the buildup to a recent qualifier in Georgia.

The defender could prove a good long term partner for John Stones and England have weaknesses in this area with Conor Coady dropping to the Championship, while Harry Maguire and Eric Dier have struggled for form at club level.

Colwill has shown promise in recent months and new Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has built a reputation for developing young players in the past such as Harry Kane and Dele Alli.

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He is likely to force his way into the squad in the coming months if he continues on his upwards trajectory.

Centre midfield: Morgan Gibbs-White - Nottingham Forest

Morgan Gibbs-White impressed for Nottingham Forest last season. (Getty Images)Morgan Gibbs-White impressed for Nottingham Forest last season. (Getty Images)
Morgan Gibbs-White impressed for Nottingham Forest last season. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Morgan Gibbs-White was one of England’s standout players on their route to glory at the Under-21 European Championship and he displayed versatility and intelligence to play in both the centre forward and midfield position. 

The £40 million signing enjoyed an excellent first season at Nottingham Forest last year and was integral to their survival in the Premier League, with five goals and eight assists.

Gibbs-White is likely to play the vast majority of games next season which gives him an advantage on some of his Under-21 team mates but he faces tough competition in a stacked midfield featuring Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Kalvin Phillips and Jordan Henderson.

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However, Phillips has struggled for first team exposure since making the switch to Manchester and Henderson is approaching the twilight years of his career.

Midfielder: Jacob Ramsey - Aston Villa

Jacob Ramsey is a key player for Aston Villa. (Getty Images)Jacob Ramsey is a key player for Aston Villa. (Getty Images)
Jacob Ramsey is a key player for Aston Villa. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Jacob Ramsey’s journey in the Under-21 European Championship was cut-short by injury but he impressed in the opening four games with one goal and one assist.

The Aston Villa youngster rose to prominence with a short loan spell at Doncaster Rovers, before establishing himself as a first team regular.

Ramsey scored a total of six Premier League goals last year and recorded seven assists - he played a crucial role in the club’s upturn in fortunes under Unai Emery and will gain European experience in the Europa Conference League.

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Winger: Anthony Gordon - Newcastle United

Anthony Gordon won the player of the tournament award. (Getty Images)Anthony Gordon won the player of the tournament award. (Getty Images)
Anthony Gordon won the player of the tournament award. (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Anthony Gordon was named as the Player of the Tournament at the Under-21 European Championship, becoming the first England player since Mark Hateley in 1984 to achieve the feat.

The Newcastle winger shined throughout the tournament with two goals and one assist and showed versatility by playing out wide and in the central forward role.

Gordon follows in the footsteps of stars such as Fabio Cannavaro, Luis Figo and Andrea Pirlo who have all previously won the award with their countries.

All of the previous Player’s of the Tournament at Under-21 level, have gone on to represent their country at international level, other than Fabio Vieira, who is still just 23-years old.

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Gordon rose to prominence at Everton, but he will hope to improve on his goal tally of one goal in his opening 16 games as he begins his first full season on Tyneside.

Gordon faces tough competition from the likes of Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling for a starting spot - but he will hope to push his way into the setup in the future.

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