Picture: Arsenal youngster selected for surprise call up to train with England first-team

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Eddie Nketiah stepped up from the England u20s squad to train with the first-team on Thursday, along with Marcus Tavernier of Middlesbrough.

England have had a couple of injury problems since selecting the squad for the international break, with Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana withdrawing with injury. Gareth Southgate decided against calling up replacements, instead choosing to simply work with the 18 players still available.

To make up the numbers in training, Southgate’s instead drawn on the England youth teams. Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke joined the team earlier in the week, and Arsenal’s Nketiah was chosen along with Tavernier on Thursday.

The 19-year-old posted pictures of the session on his Twitter page afterwards:

This is good news for Arsenal fans for two reasons. Firstly, it shows the faith the England staff have in Nketiah’s ability, as they chose him over the alternatives to fill the gap in the squad. Secondly, it’s another chance for the striker to test himself and learn alongside experienced internationals.

Nketiah had to miss the England u20s’ first match of the break against Switzerland as a result, but it must’ve been worth it to play with the senior side. Hopefully he shows what he’s learned in the next u20 match on Monday against the Netherlands.

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