Young Lions captain Marc Guehi urges people of Burnley to get behind England at Turf Moor
England Under-21s captain Marc Guehi has urged the people of Burnley to get down to Turf Moor on Thursday night and get behind the Young Lions.
The Crystal Palace centre-back will lead Lee Carsley’s side out against the Czech Republic in their UEFA European Championship Qualifier (kick-off 7pm).
And Guehi is excited about playing at Turf Moor for the first time.
The 21-year-old said, to anyone thinking of venturing down: “Come down – there are a lot of fantastic players, for sure, the future of this country.
“I’m sure you’ll enjoy a fantastic game, with a lot of fantastic players, and hopefully a win.
“It’s amazing – for any game, to pull on the shirt and represent your country is a fantastic honour, and singing the national anthem is fantastic.
“We’ll be looking forward to that at Turf Moor.”
Guehi, who has played in all 11 Premier League games for the Eagles so far this season, after an £18m switch from Chelsea, was an Under-17s World Cup winner in India four years ago, alongside Golden Ball winner Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Emile Smith-Rowe and Conor
That so many of that side is now playing regularly in the top flight, is crucial: “It’s really important, it keeps us in good stead for longevity in our careers, having had such experience at youth level - to see so many of us from the Under-17s World Cup winning team playing in the top leagues in Europe is fantastic.”
And the pathway to Gareth Southgate’s senior side is apparent: ”I think the evidence speaks for itself, Reece James, Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Jude Belingham...so many more that are now established as senior players, and that all comes from the set up we have here.
“It’s fantastic and it gives any young player something to aspire to.”
This time next year, England are almost certain to be in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup Finals, so is that a target for Guehi?: ”I like to live in the present, I’m grateful for where I am now, I’m with Palace, trying to do as well as possible for Palace and the Under 21s.
“You do keep one eye open, just in case, but I think living in the present and doing the best you can right now and seeing what happens elsewhere is best.”
But he and the current Young Lions can only be inspired by the seniors, who were semi-finalists at the last World Cup, and only beatn on penalties in the final of Euro 2020: “100% It shows progress, perseverance and determination, from where England teams were at, to where they are now, that we’re competing for Euros and major competitions. It definitely rubs off on the young players wanting to develop and be the best they possibly can.
“If you’re good enough, it doesn’t matter how old you are, you play, and that’s fantastic for players at any level.
“If you have the right mindset, the opportunities are there, and it’s great to see”
There is a feelgood factor around the national side, and Guehi enjoys taking the games around the country: “It’s great, you get to experience different places that you haven’t been to, I’m been to Turf Moor once, but to be able to play there will be fantastic. It allows so many people to experience the dream we’re living, so it’s great.”