In somewhat surprising news, midfielder Josh Dasilva has retained his England place ahead of July’s U19 European Championships, while Benfica-born winger Chris Willock will not feature.
The tournaments keep coming for our #YoungLions!
— England (@England) June 26, 2017
Dasilva hasn’t got any prior England experience to call upon, though his performances at youth level have impressed coaching staff significantly to justify a chance centre-stage in midfield.
As we previously reported, the 18-year-old was originally included as part of their training camp in Spain alongside Willock, though it looked increasingly unlikely he would sign a new deal with time on his existing Arsenal deal running out.
Coaches have left him out entirely, presumably as he’ll be eager to settle into new surroundings ahead of a new campaign outside home comforts in the coming months, should his move to Benfica be made official shortly.
England are set to face Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Germany as part of tricky Group B fixtures starting next Monday.
Players like Tottenham’s highly-rated Marcus Edwards and Chelsea’s Jacob Maddox have been preferred to Willock, which isn’t particularly surprising given the level of strength in depth with regards to attack-minded options.
Manager Keith Downing and his coaching staff might have also picked up on Willock’s lack of affect and application when it matters. It seems he wasn’t focused on helping England and instead aims to further his career and personal development.
The constant questions and no answers on Willock’s future in recent months has only soured the mood between player and his supporters. As for his team-mate, Dasilva will be hoping to earn regular minutes at a tough tournament among unfamiliar surroundings.