Three Arsenal youngsters have been included in the latest England under-19 squad for the friendly against Slovakia next month, with 2009 scholars Benik Afobe and Nico Yennaris earning their first call-ups for their country at this level.
Afobe has been promoted following a series of impressive performances at under-17 and, prior to that, under-16 level for the Three Lions. The clinical Leytonstone-born striker is highly regarded within the England setup and caught the eye with his displays during the successful UEFA U-17 European Championship Finals.
Yennaris’ inclusion caps off a pre-season in which, despite suffering from niggling injuries, he has been catapulted into the spotlight after being named on the bench by Arsene Wenger for Arsenal’s Emirates Cup match against Celtic earlier this month. Afobe and Yennaris are joined in the squad by Emmanuel Frimpong, who has seemingly backtracked on his decision to play international football for Ghana. Frimpong has not represented England since he played for the under-17s against Israel in February 2009.
The Slovakia game, which will take place on September 2nd, will provide useful preparation for coach Noel Blake as he readies his side for the upcoming EURO qualifiers.
Another Arsenal youngster, Zak Ansah, has been named in the England under-17 squad for the FA International Tournament which will see the Three Lions take on Turkey, Australia and Portugal. Ansah’s inclusion means he will miss Arsenal’s second Premier Academy League game of the season against Sunderland.