Conor Gallagher’s excellent start to the season at club level on loan at Charlton Athletic has been rewarded with a promotion to the England Under-21 squad.

The midfielder has four goals in 11 Championship appearances so far for the Addicks and most recently netted the opener in the weekend’s 2-2 draw away at Fulham. The loan is his first experience of senior football following his award as our Academy Player of the Year last term.

Gallagher was originally named in the England Under-20 squad this month but a handful of withdrawals from Aidy Boothroyd’s group have opened the door for his selection with the oldest development age group. The 19-year-old joins a quartet of young Blues with the Under-21s for upcoming internationals against Slovenia and Austria.

Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James have both been included following comebacks from injury and involvement with Frank Lampard’s senior side. Hudson-Odoi has yet to feature for the Under-21s despite making his senior debut earlier in the year. He was originally called up for Boothroyd’s squad in March but injuries saw him promoted to join Gareth Southgate’s men and he made his bow against Czech Republic at Wembley.

For James, this is also a maiden Under-21 call-up following his recovery from an ankle injury picked up on England Under-20 duty at the Toulon Tournament in June. Defensive duo Marc Guehi and Trevoh Chalobah make up the Chelsea contingent, the latter having impressed on loan at Huddersfield Town and the former after making his Blues debut in our Carabao Cup win against Grimsby Town.

The young Lions take on Slovenia in a friendly in Maribor this Friday 11 October before returning to the UK for a European Championship qualifier in Milton Keynes against Austria next Tuesday 15 October. The latter will be screened live on BT Sport.