England vs Czech Republic: Callum Hudson-Odoi still in Under-21s plans says boss Aidy Boothroyd

Nick Mashiter
The Independent

Callum Hudson-Odoi remains in Aidy Boothroyd's plans for Euro 2019 - despite spending less than three hours with the England Under-21s squad.

The Chelsea forward ate lunch with the team in Bristol before his surprise call up to the senior side on Monday.

Hudson-Odoi is yet to start a Premier League game but linked up with Gareth Southgate's Three Lions for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

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But despite his swift elevation, Young Lions boss Boothroyd expects to have the 18-year-old available for the summer tournament in Italy and San Marino.

"He is (in his plans), when you look at the (players born in the) 2000s we have - Phil Foden, Ryan Sessegnon - we have a really good group," he said, ahead of Thursday's friendly with Poland at Ashton Gate.

"He came in, had lunch and he left. He had a big smile and is very excited to be called up and we're excited to give him the opportunity.

"He's right at the start of his career. The fact he's been called up by the senior manager is a credit to him. What he has to do is get his head down and become a regular at his club side.

"He's a good guy, confident and we want him to be doing more and playing more. It's won't faze him.

"I'll be taking what I think is the right and a balanced squad. There's massive competition for places, we have some real depth. It's up to me to pick the best team and the best characters.

"It's nice to have a strong squad but important to have one which is together and ready to support reach other, whoever puts the shirt on.

"We have winners across the board. It's about blending the team together, which has happened quickly."

Tammy Abraham is unlikely to feature against Poland after sitting out training as a precaution following a calf injury suffered in Aston Villa's 3-0 win over Middlesbrough.

Hudson-Odoi was called up to the senior team this week (AFP/Getty Images)
Hudson-Odoi was called up to the senior team this week (AFP/Getty Images)

The striker spent the 2016-17 season on loan at Ashton Gate, scoring 26 goals for Bristol City.

Boothroyd added: "He's improving but with the time of the season, and what the players are going to go to as soon as they leave us, it's important we wrap them in cotton wool, look after him and make sure they all go back healthier than when they arrived."

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