By Scott Taylor
Jordan Rossiter, Sheyi Ojo, Cameron Brannagan, Ryan Kent, Jordan Williams and Danny Ward have all received international call-ups this week, ahead of their countries’ respective games. Rossiter and Ojo have been called up to the England U19s, whilst Brannagan and Kent have earned U20s call-ups. Williams and Ward have both been called up to the Wales’ senior side with Williams earning his first ever call-up.
Brannagan and Kent are the latest Liverpool U21 youngsters to receive national call-ups, as their place in the England U20s squad for the game against Czech Republic was confirmed today. Brannagan, 18, is the captain of the Reds’ U21 side and has been involved with the first team squad in recent seasons. Kent, 18, is another lively attacking midfielder and has been linked with loan moves to MK Dons and Swindon Town in recent months.
Brannagan and Kent will both make their debuts for Keith Downing’ side, after previously playing the U18s. Brannagan has played 42 games for the U21s in the Premier League, scoring eight goals with six assists. The midfielder also made five appearances in the UEFA Youth League, Europe’s strongest youth competition and scored twice. The Liverpool captain played just two games in the England U18s before his call-up to the U20s.
Kent has played fewer games in U21 League football than Brannagan, but has still made a significant mark. In his 16 games, he has scored six goals with four assists. He has also played six games in the UEFA Youth League, where he has scored one goals and assisted two others. Kent has also played two games for England U18s before his call-up. Instead, he scored two goals in those two matches, suggesting that he can perform on the international stage as well.
Jordan Rossiter and Sheyi Ojo have both been called up to the England U19s for friendlies against Germany and Croatia. Rossiter, 18, made his Premier League debut on Monday, coming on as a second-half substitute in Liverpool’s 0-0 draw at Arsenal. He also scored on his full debut for the Reds, netting the opener from long-range in the penalty shoot-out win over Middlesbrough in September 2014.
Ojo, 18, is currently out on loan with Championship side Wolves for the 2015/16 season. The winger followed up good performances with his first competitive goal and an assist in their 2-1 win over Barnet in the Capital One Cup Second Round. His international career has been good so far, scoring three goals in eight games with the U18s. Ojo has hardly featured for Liverpool U21s, scoring four goals and two assists in his 11 games so far.
Finally, Jordan Williams and Danny Ward have both received call-ups to the Wales first team squad for their Euro 2016 qualifiers against Cyprus and Israel. Williams, 19, made his Liverpool debut in the same Capital One Cup game against Middlesbrough last season. He is currently on loan at League One side Swindon Town and was involved in a bizarre penalty incident in their 2-2 draw with Port Vale last week. Williams assumed the referee stopped play for an injured team-mate so he punched the ball out of play only for the referee to give a penalty and caution Williams, but that didn’t stop him receiving a call-up.
Ward, 22, has been involved in Chris Coleman’s side for a couple of seasons, but has yet to establish himself as the country’s number one goalkeeper. Ward is currently on loan at Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen, where he has conceded just one goal in their opening four league games. Overall, the Welshman has kept five clean sheets in his first ten games as a Dons player. He has played seven games with the Wales U21s and has a chance of making his debut should Wales qualify with games remaining.
By Scott Taylor