Everton midfielder Fabian Delph will miss England’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria after withdrawing from the squad through injury.
The 29-year-old moved to Goodison Park from Manchester City in the summer and earned a Three Lions recall having missed out on the first squad of the new season.
But, despite playing the entirety of Everton’s 1-0 loss at Burnley on Saturday, he has pulled out through injury – with manager Gareth Southgate opting against calling up a replacement.
As a result, England will head to Prague for Friday night’s game against the Czech Republic with a 24-man squad.
Bradford-born Delph has 20 senior caps to his name and is a favourite of Southgate, who continued to select the former Leeds United and Aston Villa man even when he was struggling to break into the team at City. Southgate still has plenty of midfield talent at his disposal for the back-to-back away games with Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson, James Maddison, Mason Mount, Declan Rice and Harry Winks also in the squad.
Meanwhile, Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd accepts that Callum Hudson-Odoi is in his squad as “part of his rehab”.
The 18-year-old has just returned to action after a serious Achilles injury and has been included in Boothroyd’s Young Lions group for Friday’s friendly against Slovenia and Monday’s EURO qualifier against Austria.
He has hit the ground running for Chelsea, scoring one goal and making three more in his four appearances, but was not deemed ready for Southgate’s main squad.
Boothroyd is delighted to finally get his hands on the teenager following his swift call-up to the senior squad last time he was with the Under-21s.
“Callum has done very well. He’s only at the start of his career and had a difficult injury,” Boothroyd said.
“We’re almost part of his rehab really, to get him back to that place where he can challenge for a senior place.
“We only had him for about half an hour last time. He was having his dinner and before he’d finished the starter we had to send him back up to Gareth.
“It was nice to spend a few more hours with him. I think we’re all right this time.”
Hudson-Odoi is one of several young players impressing in Frank Lampard’s side this season as a result of their transfer ban.
Fikayo Tomori, Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount are in the senior squad and Boothroyd believes Premier League teams might start differently about using younger players as a result of Chelsea’s situation.
“It’s terrific. It’s what we’ve always wanted really,” he said.
“Through what’s happened at Chelsea and seeing the emergence of these players, it might seem a surprise to some, but when you work with them, I think all that is needed is for youngsters to get an opportunity.
“For too long we’ve had players who’ve reached a ceiling in development that they can’t get through because they don’t get the chance.
“What’s happened at Chelsea is a great example of a team having to use young players and actually, they’re not bad.