Wilfried Zaha and Sam Johnstone have withdrawn from the England Under-21 squad. The two were named in Gareth Southgate’s squad earlier in the week but have had to withdraw due to injury.
Zaha hasn’t reported for duty at St. George’s Park after ending the campaign on loan at Cardiff City with a niggling injury. He was only set to be available for the game against Wales as he was too old to take part in the Toulon Tournament.
It was decided that the better option was for the winger to get some rest in order to make a full recovery for next season. Confirming Zaha’s injury, Under-21s boss Gareth Southgate said: “Wilf has been carrying something and we decided that it was probably best not to aggravate it.
“We would have only had four days with him, whereas with the others we get two weeks, which is a great extended period to work with them.”
Zaha’s absence could mean more game time for another United player: Jesse Lingard. Speaking of the options on the flanks Southgate said: “And there’s Jesse Lingard, who has been knocking on the door for us a lot and has had a really good loan spell at Brighton.”
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has also been forced to withdraw from the squad through injury. He reported to St. George’s Park but after being assessed by the England medical team he has returned to the Aon Training Complex for treatment, having picked up the injury while on loan with Doncaster Rovers.
Tom Lawrence was forced to withdraw from the Wales Under-21 squad having picked up an injury in the loss to Chelsea in the Under-21 Premier League final.
In even more injury news, James Wilson and Ben Pearson have both been ruled out of England Under-19’s squad for the European Championship Elite Round, having both played the final of the Under-21 Premier League while carrying injuries.
England’s Under-21s are in action against Wales on Monday night and two United players could still be involved as Michael Keane and Jesse Lingard are both available. The match kicks off at 7.30pm and is live on Sky Sports.
Alternatively, if you’re more interested in the senior team and some World Cup betting, the squad has now flown out to Portugal for their World Cup training camp.