Everton manager Roberto Martinez doesn’t feel Ross Barkley should be part of the England Under-21 squad for this summer’s European Championships as the midfielder has moved beyond the youth category, Sky
Martinez was asked about a potential call-up for Barkley to Gareth Southgate’s group for the competition, to be played in the Czech Republic in mid-June, after it was reported Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling would be left out due to the amount of football he has played in recent months.
Barkley and Sterling have both been capped by senior boss Roy Hodgson, the pair travelling to last year’s World Cup in Brazil, and it was to that involvement Martinez pointed when arguing for Barkley’s exclusion.
“Ross has been involved in the best possible tournament – the World Cup with the senior side – so I don’t think other tournaments can be a positive for him or the rest of the squad,” the Spaniard noted.
“Those experiences for the Under-21s are to prepare you for the senior level and once you have reached the senior level I think you are blocking someone else’s path,” Martinez continued. “Ross has been full of terrific experiences and is growing all the time. Clearly it will be a decision based on what the Under-21s manager wants to do.
“We have a very good relationship with the FA and Gareth Southgate and we will speak about it I am sure.”
The 20-year-old Barkley has a handful of Under-21 caps to his name but is into double figures for full appearances, having first played under Roy Hodgson in September 2013. He was also part of the England Under-17 side that claimed the European Championship in 2010.
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