Preston North End loanee Lukas Nmecha is encouraged to see youth being given its chance in the England squad in the shape of Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount.
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Nmecha, who is on loan at PNE from Manchester City, was in the City youth set-up with winger Sancho who is now starring for German side Borussia Dortmund.
Sancho, 18, is in England’s squad for the Nations League double header against Croatia (Friday night) and Spain (Monday), as is 19-year-old Mason Mount who is on loan at Derby from Chelsea.
Mount scored against PNE for Derby at Pride Park earlier in the season.
Nmecha said: “Jadon used to train with us at City and he was a really good player.
“I’ve played with Mason Mount as well, so it gives you a bit more of an incentive that you can actually do it.
“We’re all here to do our best and show what we can do – if that get recognised then that’s great.”
Nmecha has himself been involved in England’s set-up since Under-16s level and is currently in the Under-20s.
He is on stand-by for the Under-20s games during this international break, injury having seen him pull out of last month’s games.
Sancho left City in a £8m move to Dortmund in August 2017 having not broken into the City first-team squad.
City had signed him from Watford’s academy when he was 14.
The teenager has been playing regularly in Germany.
On his England call-up, Sancho said: “It means a lot to me, especially my family.
“When I was a young kid, I always dreamed of obviously playing for my country.
“That’s the biggest thing that could ever happen to a young kid like me.
“It would be a dream come true (to make my debut against Croatia). I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.
“Obviously I just have to keep on working hard in training and see what the manager does.”
Sancho was perhaps the most eye-catching inclusion when Southgate named his squad.
His promising displays in Germany saw him become the first player born this millennium to be called up by the senior team.
The 18-year-old is reaping the rewards of taking the path less followed, having made the courageous move from City to Dortmund.
Said Sancho: “I was a bit surprised, to be fair, because obviously I’m so young so I have still got a lot to learn.
“I’m just grateful that the manager is seeing my progress in the Bundesliga and very thankful.”
England's game against Croatia in Rijeka will be played in an empty stadium, UEFA imposing that punishment on Croatia after a swastika was marked on the pitch ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy.