Gareth Southgate has been impressed by Tyler Blackett‘s impressive start to the season but felt others deserved an opportunity ahead of him in the England U21s squad.
The 20-year-old was a surprise omission from Southgate’s squad given how well he played for United’s senior team but the abundance of choice has led Southgate to leaving Blackett out for the time being in order for him to remain with United and benefit from their training regime.
“Tyler has had a super couple of months with United,” he said.
“I think he would say himself that at Birmingham and Blackpool, they were really difficult loan spells for him – so it’s great what he’s done in the last couple of months.
“But if I look at all of the defenders that are in our squad – they’ve been with us for a period of time. We named nine. We’ve lost Callum so we’ve still got eight.
“At this age if players are not looking likely to start the game or are not looking like being involved then it is more important that they are with their club, are able to train properly and do what their club needs.”
While Blackett’s omission remains a surprise, it won’t be the worst thing in the world for him to take a step back from the spotlight and concentrate on training back at Carrington away from the prying eyes of the media.
Southgate explained the situation to Blackett who accepted the situation and his focus will now be solely on progressing with United for the time being: “There’s no point in me having loads of players sat in the stand.
“I want a group and I want a core group. I felt for Tyler, this time around, in that he’s had a great period.
“We had a look at him last month so he’s had a feel of it, but I’ve got a bit of a loyalty to the group that we’ve had.
“But Tyler totally understands and he was also born in 1994 so he’s eligible for us for the next campaign as well.
“I think the key for him is to keep progressing as he has for United.”