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Jordan Pickford says the standard in England training is “on another level” and believes the successes of a new wave of young talent at club level can be “massive” for the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 hopes.
Pickford is one of only nine players left from the squad which reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia three years ago, with an exciting new generation having emerged in the interim.
Already many of that crop have played a major part in winning trophies with their clubs, with the likes of Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell and Reece James recently tasting Champions League glory with Chelsea, and Phil Foden playing a prominent role in Manchester City’s Premier League title win.
Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham and Jadon Sancho have all made their international debuts as teenagers since Russia, while Declan Rice and Jack Grealish are tipped to shine in their first major tournaments, and Pickford says the atmosphere in a youthful squad is vibrant.
“The mood is brilliant. Everyone is together and it has a Euro vibe to it for a major tournament,” Pickford told the Official England Podcast.
“I feel quite senior for being only 27. It’s mad. I was never that young getting into the squad, so it shows how much talent and ability there is in England youth at the moment.
“Everyone in the side now has been through the pathway of the younger age groups as well.
“It’s exciting. When you are training with the lads, the standard is another level.
“A lot of the lads are very young and the majority probably under 23, so it’s quality. And we have the senior lads as well, which is brilliant for us.
“All these younger lads now are winning trophies at their clubs, so they are getting that experience and that’s massive in itself.”