England U21 boss explains Cantwell omission
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Aidy Boothroyd has urged Todd Cantwell to prove him wrong after the England U21 boss left the Norwich City midfielder out of the squad for the upcoming European Championship.
The Dereham-born midfielder is on the standby list but many expected him to be included in the squad after his recent form helped push City 10 points clear at the summit of the Championship.
Cantwell has scored five goals and registered four assists for the Canaries this season, including a stunning strike that claimed victory in Sunday's fixture against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
City duo Max Aarons and Oliver Skipp have been selected by Boothroyd for the group stages of the competition later this month. Forwards such as Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi and Manchester United's Mason Greenwood, who have both been capped at senior level, made the cut ahead of the Canaries' midfielder.
Cantwell has been capped three times by the U21s, making his debut in a 3-0 win over Kosovo at the KC Stadium back in 2019.
England U21s travel to Slovenia this month to kick-start their European Championship campaign after the tournament was postponed last year. Despite being 23, Cantwell was eligible for the competition due to being under the required age at the start of qualifying.
Boothroyd elected to name a series of midfielders ahead of Cantwell but described the decision as one of the toughest he had to make when finalising his 23-man squad.
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"When you look at the squad, it's a tough call. I found that one in particular a very difficult decision to make," Boothroyd admitted.
"Mainly because of the form, after Christmas the upturn in terms of his minutes, numbers and Norwich's position - they are playing very well - it made it a difficult decision. They are coming towards the end of a very long season up at the top of the league.
"Todd has been with us before. He's been excellent when he was with us. I know how important it is for him to play for his country. Football is about tough knocks and setbacks. Life is about that and you've got to get on with it and get back where you want to be.
"He's certainly doing that and is unlucky not to be in the squad."