The Under-20 World Cup is up and running but one player who won’t be featuring for now is Carney Chukwuemeka, despite being named in England’s squad.
Instead, Chukwuemeka has stayed at Chelsea for our remaining three fixtures and is expected to be in our squad for today’s trip to Manchester City. Injuries to Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante have necessitated that decision, and there remains the possibility Chukwuemeka will link up with the Under-20s in time for the knockout stages, if of course the Young Lions make it that far. They start their group stage campaign against Tunisia tomorrow, with Bashir Humphreys, Harvey Vale and Teddy Sharman-Lowe the other Blues involved.
Speaking ahead of the game against Man City, Frank Lampard has provided some more context to the decision for Chukwuemeka to stay in England, at least initially.
‘He is a Chelsea player and we have injuries in that area,’ said Lampard.
‘One of the situations with Carney is that he has come into a big club. It is a big move for him. This season he has only managed to get so many minutes because of the size of the squad and settling into a new club.
‘Hopefully there are opportunities in these three games for him. He is our player and while we have lost players, we need him to stay. There is a possibility he can join up at the end of the season if England get through to the next stages.
‘There might be the best of both worlds in an ideal way. We had to make that decision. I felt a bit for Carney as he was keen to go, but at the same time it has happened and he had to stay.’