Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White’s elevation to England Under-21s was never in doubt, according to the man who promoted him.
The 19-year-old has earned his first call-up to Aidy Boothroyd’s squad for this summer’s European Championships in Italy and San Marino next month, from June 16-30.
Gibbs-White made 31 appearances for Wolves this season and has been closely monitored by St Georges’ Park staff, so much so that Boothroyd was invited to Compton for lunch with head coach Nuno Espirito Santo and his staff in March.
“He was really close (to being picked for the last squad) and he was close enough that I went to Wolves and had dinner with Nuno and had a good chat with him and his coaches,” said Boothroyd at the time.
“After I had a chat with Morgan, just to see where he’s at, to explain where he is in my thinking, how much we think of him.
“It was felt for this trip he would be better with the Under-19s but straight after he comes right into the reckoning with us.”
Boothroyd is in no doubt that Gibbs-White is ready to step up to the Under-21s, where he joins players such as Phil Foden, James Maddison, Demarai Gray, Tammy Abraham, Harvey Barnes and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
“He’s got a big smile on his face, and he is going to learn plenty in that environment,” said Boothroyd.
“It’s a really good place for him right now. He’s not playing every single week but he is around players who are seventh in the Premier League.
“They are having a great season and when I went there I really liked what I saw.
“It’s a really good environment and you can see why they are doing well.”
Gibbs-White was part of the England squad who won the Under-17 World Cup in 2017 and has already played for his country at every level from Under-16s to Under-19s.
The England squad will head to Italy on June 14 and their group games are against France on Tuesday June 18 (8pm), Romania on Friday June 21 (5.30pm) and Croatia on Monday June 24 (8pm). All those matches will be broadcast on Sky Sports.
England Under-21 squad:
Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn (Southampton), Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Freddie Woodman (Newcastle United);
Defenders: Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), Jay Dasilva (Chelsea), Lloyd Kelly (AFC Bournemouth), Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), Ezri Konsa (Brentford), Fikayo Tomori (Derby County, loan from Chelsea), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace);
Midfielders: Harvey Barnes (Leicester City), Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City), Kieran Dowell (Everton), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers), James Maddison (Leicester City), Mason Mount (Derby County, loan from Chelsea), Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham);
Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa, loan from Chelsea), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Demarai Gray (Leicester City), Reiss Nelson (Arsenal), Dominic Solanke (AFC Bournemouth).