Lewisham’s Eddie Nketiah named England under-21 captain for European Championships

BY SAM SMITH

Lewisham-born Eddie Nketiah has been confirmed as captain for England U21s’ European Championships campaign.

The Arsenal striker, who holds the record for most England U21 goals with 16 in 14 appearances, will lead Aidy Boothroyd’s side in the group stage fixtures over the next seven days. The knockout rounds are scheduled for May 31 to June 6.

England play against Switzerland (tomorrow), Portugal (March 28) and Croatia (March 31) in Group D. The tournament is being co-hosted by Hungary and Slovenia.

Nketiah said: “It’s a big honour to even represent your country in a major tournament, never mind be captain. To get that responsibility is a great feeling and one I’m proud of. I’m looking forward to getting onto the pitch and contributing to something special.

“I was delighted, smiling [when told by Boothroyd]. I’m grateful for the opportunity and the responsibility he’s given me.

“I’ve got a great opportunity in front of me and Aidy was in communication throughout. I’ve a big tournament ahead of me and I’m grateful for the opportunity to achieve something special.”

Boothroyd added: “He (Nketiah) is one of the leadership team, he is the record scorer which is a huge a when you consider he has beaten Alan Shearer.

“He is very humble, hard working and before you talk about his football and in he is a good guy who everyone likes and respects. He was the right choice.”

 


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