England Under-21s captain James Ward-Prowse admits all of the squad can take inspiration from his former room-mate Eric Dier and Dele Alli following their senior call-ups.
The Tottenham Hotspur pair were named in Roy Hodgson’s latest squad for the Euro warm-ups with Spain and France, having started the campaign alongside Ward-Prowse in the U21s.
And they join the likes of John Stones and Raheem Sterling, also still eligible for Gareth Southgate’s side, in the senior set-up.
UEFA Euro U21 Championship
Bosnia-Herzegovina v England
12noon, Thursday 12 November
Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadion, Sarajevo
England v Switzerland
5.45pm, Monday 16 November
Amex Stadium, Brighton
Live on BT Sport
Call 0844 327 1901 for tickets
“For us, as young players, there is an obvious pathway now as we can see friends and team-mates are making that rise and step up and it’s something we want to follow,” said the Southampton midfielder.
“Gareth Southgate has made that clear to us, players do move on and that pathway is there for us.
“It’s inspiring and promising for me that friends and fellow team-mates are given the opportunity, so if I can replicate that for Southampton and continue my progress with the U21s then that chance will come.
“We know the required level to get into the team.”
Ward-Prowse has been a regular for the U21s over the last two and a half seasons, whilst also developing with the Saints.
And whilst he makes no secret of his fierce ambition to climb into the senior set-up himself one day, he’s been delighted to see the latest progression from Southgate’s group.
“They’ve been tremendous for Tottenham, to hold their place and perform the way they have for a club like Spurs is great,” he added.
“I know Eric particularly well, having roomed with him on England trips, and he’s a fantastic person off the pitch and a great professional.
“And Dele showed in the time he was here with us the qualities that he has, so I’m excited to see how they do in these next two games.
“He’s a young, talented player and to be given the chance to play in the Premier League is great and you can see in the early stages of his career that he’s shown great quality and I’m sure he’ll be around for a long time.”
Whilst Dier and Alli headed off to Alicante for England’s encounter with Spain, Ward-Prowse and his team-mates are also on their travels and have landed in Sarajevo ahead of Thursday’s game with Bosnia-Herzegovina
And despite their hosts having lost all three of their Euro Qualifiers so far, the 21-year-old is expecting a test for the Three Lions at the Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadion before an intriguing clash with Switzerland in Brighton next Monday.
“There’s no easy game wherever you go, especially on the international stage,” he admitted.
“We’ll be doing our homework on them and we won’t under-estimate them.
“And [against Switzerland] both sides like to play good football so that will be a decent game.”
Tickets for the game at the Amex Stadium on Monday 16 November cost just £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. Call 0844 327 1901 to purchase or click here for more details.