Hatters keeper Walton in squad for Euro 2017 double-header
We are delighted to announce that goalkeeper Christian Walton has been called up to the England Under-21 squad that meets up later this evening for this week’s UEFA European Championship qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Walton’s form in the early weeks of his season-long loan from Brighton & Hove Albion has earned him a recall to the squad now managed by his former U20 manager Aidy Boothroyd, following Gareth Southgate’s elevation to senior boss.
The 20-year-old’s call-up has come as a result of the withdrawal through injury of Sunderland's Jordan Pickford, and he joins Derby’s Jonathan Mitchell – who had a loan spell with the Hatters last season – in the squad.
Walton will travel to St George’s Park this evening to prepare for the flight to Aktobe for Thursday’s clash with Kazakhstan at Central Stadium, before returning to these shores to face Bosnia & Herzogovina at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium on Tuesday week.
Hatters boss Nathan Jones told lutontown.co.uk: “I’m delighted for Christian that he has once again gained international recognition. He has been a key part to our excellent start to the season and it’s justly deserved.”
The Cornishman has 12 caps at U19 and U20 level, and was called up to the U21 squad last season while on loan at Bury, but had to withdraw through injury.
He is the first current Luton Town player in 20 years to be called up by England U21s, and one of 12 men to have achieved the recognition. The last was a goalkeeper too – Bedford-born stopper Kelvin Davis in 1996 – and the others are Tim Breacker, Paul Elliott, Paul Futcher, Julian James, Mike Newell, Scott Oakes, David Oldfield, Brian Stein, Mitchell Thomas and Paul Walsh,
All at Kenilworth Road would like to wish Christian the best of luck for his time away with the national squad.