Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke is reportedly set to join up with the senior England squad for Tuesday night’s showcase friendly against Brazil.
The Three Lions take on Germany at Wembley on Friday night, before returning to northwest London to take on Tite’s Brazil to round off the international break.
Due to the nature and timing of the two clashes, Gareth Southgate has been hampered by a host of withdrawals, including Reds captain Jordan Henderson, who is struggling with a thigh injury.
Jack Butland, Gary Cahill, Fabian Delph, Harry Winks, Dele Alli and Harry Kane also pulled out of duty with fitness issues.
This has left Southgate turning to the likes of Jordan Pickford, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham as he builds his starting lineup against Germany, while planning for further changes.
According to the Guardian, the 47-year-old will call up Solanke, Demarai Gray and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to flesh out his squad for midweek.
This will come after the England U21s’ European Championship qualifier against the Ukraine on Friday afternoon, in which both Solanke and Trent Alexander-Arnold will be hoping to start.
Solanke has only recently made the step up to the U21s squad, having been part of the England U20s side that won the World Cup last summer.
This could certainly be seen as premature, as Solanke has only played 194 minutes of senior football this season and 2,112 in his entire career.
And Southgate, justifying his plans to experiment in this friendly double-header, took a sensible approach, using England’s opponents as an example.
“If we don’t try things now, when will we?” he argued.
“And it’s not just about Russia [next summer’s World Cup], it’s beyond that. Germany took a young team to the Confederations Cup.
“They are brave enough to take decisions which might get them results or might not. They are constantly evolving and that’s what we have to do.”
While the inclusion of Solanke, if it plays out, is clearly a last-minute decision following a spat of injuries, Southgate’s sentiment is admirable.
Having stepped up from his role as U21s manager last year, he will be looking for his young draftees to prove themselves in much the same way if they’re called upon against Brazil.