Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger warns England that taking senior under-21 player to European Championships could hamper 2016 chance

Wenger believes that selecting the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Raheem Sterlking for next year's European Under-21 Championships could hamper the senior team

Click to follow

Arsene Wenger has warned that England's chances at Euro 2016 may be significantly hampered if senior players are allowed to take part in the European Under-21 Championships next summer.

England boss Roy Hodgson will allow under-21s coach Gareth Southgate first call on those players eligible he would like to take to the Czech Republic, which would see them sit out a friendly against the Republic of Ireland in a Dublin on June 7 as well as the Euro 2016 qualifier away to Slovenia a week later.

The likes of Manchester United's Luke Shaw, Everton's John Stones, Arsenal defender Calum Chambers and West Brom forward Saido Berahino are all in the frame to join up for the Under-21s.

However, Southgate could technically also request more established England players like Jack Wilshere, 23 on January 1, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 21, join up for the tournament, along with 19-year-old Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling.


However, Arsenal boss Wenger - who now has several players in the senior set-up also including Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck - believes that would not be in the best long-term interests of the England national team.

"It depends. If Roy Hodgson wants to do well at the European Championship, I don't think it's in his interest to overload the players during the summer preceding the European Championship," said Wenger.

"The European under-21 (tournament starts) on June 17. The training starts at the beginning of July, then you count 50 to 55 games and then going to the European Championship without any holiday.

"I don't think that's ideal for the preparation of the English European campaign."

Asked by Press Association Sport what his response would be if Hodgson were to contact him and ask directly for all Arsenal players to be made available, Wenger replied: "(I would say) 'come on Roy'."