Arsenal supporters reacted angrily after official confirmation that Rob Holding was not given his first senior call-up to the England squad.
Holding, 21, has impressed when called upon this season and having made his first Premier League start of 2017 during Arsenal’s narrow 2-1 win over Middlesbrough, he hasn’t looked back.
As part of a back three that has only conceded two in five matches with the former Bolton man on the pitch, many felt it was a certainty that his form would be rewarded with a senior call-up. After all, Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier was given one.
But no, the talented youngster has instead been named as part of Aidy Boothroyd’s pre-Euros training camp ahead of next month’s tournament in Poland with the u21s. He’ll be joined by centre-back partner Calum Chambers.
Here is some of the reaction to the news on social media:
Chris Smalling over Rob Holding i am actually laughing. This is why the world laughs at England
— Leroy (@TightSpace) May 25, 2017
Also gutted to not see Rob Holding get a call-up ahead of John Stones, who has been awful for City in the past few months.
— 1886 (@1886_blog) May 25, 2017
Stones hasn't played in a month , Holding is holding down a place at Arsenal but doesn't get picked
— 7 (@49WithStyle) May 25, 2017
These reactions are understandable, especially with other English defenders chosen who haven’t really done much to justify their place within the squad.
Calum Chambers has performed better than Ben Gibson this season though the Boro man receives most of the credit, whilst John Stones and United, duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, have been out-of-sorts for a while now.
You can understand Southgate being reluctant to change too much but for international friendlies and not qualifying fixtures, it makes sense to bring the younger players through especially at a time where they can bond with and build relationships alongside senior team-mates.
The centre-back pairing of Chambers-Holding is arguably the most solid within the u21 group, which could also be part of the reason why neither were called up to the senior side just yet as they’ve got a European Championship to contest next month.