The Everton FC midfielder could run out for England Under-21s in the European Championships
Roy Hodgson doesn’t believe Ross Barkley should go to the Under-21s European Champions this summer, citing his experience at senior level as reason to stay at home.
Debate has raged over which players England U-21s boss Gareth Southgate will take to the tournament in Czech Republic, with several eligible players already full internationals under Hodgson.
Blues boss Roberto Martinez has expressed his desire for the 21-year-old to not play this summer – and England manager Hodgson agrees.
Hodgson said: “Ross is part of our national team and in his last couple of games has proved himself a worthy one.
“I think the major argument, and one that Gareth is very much aware of, is that they have qualified and played all these games and worked very hard to qualify with a very good group of Under-21 players.
“Harry Kane is a different kettle of fish because Harry, apart from these two (senior) matches, has played in every (Under-21) game.
“He’s been there right from the start. Ross Barkley will have been catapulted in from the outside.”
Barkley played a starring role off the bench during England’s 1-1 draw with Italy in Turin on Tuesday.
Hodgson praised the midfielder for that performance, but believes there are no guarantees Barkley would achieve similar standards in June for the Under-21s.
“I’m not certain you can guarantee Ross is going to go there, not upset the rest of the players, make Gareth’s team so much better, and be man of the tournament,” added Hodgson.
“It could happen, who knows? But there is no guarantee of that.”
Hodgson added Everton team-mate John Stones could feature, however, with the defender keen to play in the competition.
The defender impressed in England’s games with Germany and Czech Republic, and has been in fine form for the Blues since returning from injury.
“From what I have heard John Stones’ performances in these last two games, he’s been exceptional and it looks like he might want to play (in the tournament) as well,” said Hodgson.
Euro 2015 gets under way on June 17 with England in Group B alongside Italy, Portugal and Sweden.
Roy Hodgson has admitted Everton midfielder Ross Barkley is unlikely to play at this summer's European Under-21 Championships.
Blues boss Roberto Martinez had been quizzed over whether he would be keen for the 21-year-old to feature in the tournament in June but Hodgson believes Barkley should now be considered part of the full England set up.
“I think Roberto has a genuine argument about Ross and the Under-21s and it brings you back to what benefits the tournament will have," he said. “I tend to be veering towards Roberto for the simple reason that I think that was a tough tournament in Brazil last year for Barkley.
“He is a part of our national team and in his last couple of games has proved himself a worthy one.
“I think another major argument against him going, one that Gareth [Southgate, England Under-21s manager] is aware of, is they have worked hard to qualify with a good group of players.
“So to suddenly catapult in someone like Ross it might not be the right thing to do for squad harmony. I’m not certain you can guarantee not to upset the rest of the players."
Hodgson does expect Toffees defender John Stones to be included in the squad for the Czech Republic however.
He added: "What I have heard about John Stones’ performances in these last two games [for England Under-21s] is that he has been exceptional and it looks like he might want to play as well."
Barkley impressed for the senior England side when he came on as a sub in Italy on Tuesday and Hodgson says he'll have no qualms about utilising the Wavertree-born star in the number 10 role again going forward.
“I don’t have any fears of finding a place for him to start games and I think he will do well," he said. “His problem is going to be the competition. If you go through all the players who were not in Italy you have James Milner, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling.
“But I think he has shown us in these two games that if I believe he is the right man for that role then I think he’ll do a good job for us.”
I'd be interested to hear what Ross thinks about playing there.
That for me is more important.
They called him into the England senior team to help the England team, not necessarily to help Ross, and if Ross wants to play at u21 level too then why not, as it is his age group, and he should be able to test himself against players his own age, which would no doubt restore confidence.
There doesn't seem to be a problem when senior players play for their club u21 sides so if Ross wants to play and is eligible and deserves the call up then let him, and if he doesn't want to play then it's a no story.