Chelsea had already stopped Lewis Hall being selected in England manager Ian Foster’s squad for the upcoming Under-20 World Cup, and now the Blues have hit the Three Lions with another blow
Chelsea have blocked young star Carney Chukwuemeka from going to the Under-20 World Cup with England, as the Blues say that they need him for the rest of this season.
That’s despite the 19-year-old midfielder’s last appearance for Chelsea’s first-team coming over two months ago. After the Blues informed the FA of what’s already become a controversial decision, England will now jet off to Argentina with a starting squad of just 16 players under boss Ian Foster, who can’t call up a replacement due to Chukwuemeka’s withdrawal not being injury-related.
That’s thanks to four more players being involved in the EFL play-offs, as the limited Three Lions look to repeat the success of Paul Simpson’s side in 2017. Chelsea’s decision to prevent Chukwuemeka from being part of Foster’s travelling squad comes after the Blues stopped academy graduate Lewis Hall from being chosen in the first place.
Injuries to fellow left-backs Ben Chilwell and Marc Cucurella have resulted in Hall recently being promoted to the starting XI, unlike Chukwuemeka. Chelsea signed the talented playmaker from Aston Villa last summer in a deal which could be worth £20million, but he’s only made 12 senior appearances in his debut campaign.
The most recent of those came on March 18, as former manager Graham Potter gave Chukwuemeka just four minutes from the bench in their 2-2 draw at home to Everton. Premier League rivals Manchester United have also blocked Argentina international Alejandro Garnacho from representing his nation in their own back yard.
While Chelsea face backlash for their stringent stance on Hall and now Chukwuemeka, who’s previously captained England at U20 level, interim manager Frank Lampard has already urged FIFA to reconsider to the tournament’s scheduling. “It feels a mystery to me,” Lampard declared last week.
Have your say! Do you agree with Chelsea’s decision? Let us know your stance in the comments s ection.
“I wasn’t having to think too much about the tournament a month or so ago, but because I have come here all of a sudden there is a question of young players leaving at the most crucial part of the season. You can see what it means to us and Lewis.
“There will be other clubs and leagues where players are playing regularly. It doesn’t make sense in terms of clashing with the end of our season.
“From our point of view having the power to keep our player is an important thing. Maybe that jeopardises the World Cup itself and that’s why they should look at it because they want the best players there.”
Hall played 90 minutes in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest, while Chukwuemeka hasn’t been involved in Chelsea’s last seven Premier League games. The ex-Villa wonderkid was named on the bench for the Blues’ 2-0 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid in April but didn’t feature.
Chelsea face Newcastle on the final day of the season on May 28, the same date England play their final group stage match against Egypt.
His withdrawal means that England are light for numbers ahead of their opening game against Tunisia next Monday. Four of Foster’s squad – Callum Doyle, Brooke Norton-Cuffy, Aaron Ramsey, Ronnie Edwards – are currently competing in the EFL play-offs and hope to join the Three Lions for the knockout stages at the start of June.
England’s U20 World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: James Beadle ( Brighton ), Matthew Cox ( Brentford ), Teddy Sharman-Lowe (Chelsea)
Defenders: Callum Doyle ( Coventry City, loan from Manchester City )*, Ronnie Edwards ( Peterborough United )*, Bashir Humphreys ( Paderborn, loan from Chelsea), Brooke Norton-Cuffy (Coventry City, loan from Arsenal )*, Daniel Oyegoke (Brentford), Jarell Quansah ( Liverpool ), Imari Hines-Samuels (Brighton)
Midfielders: Alfie Devine ( Tottenham ), Sam Edozie ( Southampton ), Darko Gyabi ( Leeds ), Aaron Ramsey ( Middlesbrough, loan from Aston Villa)*, Alex Scott ( Bristol City ), Harvey Vale (Chelsea)
Forwards: Liam Delap (Manchester City), Daniel Jebbison ( Sheffield United ), Mateo Joseph (Leeds), Dane Scarlett (Tottenham)
*to join at a later date