England under-21s get their European Championship campaign underway this evening. They face France and go into the competition as favourites with many a pundit.
It is also now clear who will lead the England side at the tournament. As announced yesterday, Chelsea defender Jake Clarke -Salter will be the England under-21 captain for the competition.
It is clearly a huge honour for the youngster, who told the FA’s website just how excited he is to lead out his country.
“It’s a massive honour for me to captain England at such a big tournament like this.
“When I look at the players who have played in the U21 Euros, along with the quality of the squad we have now, it’s such a proud feeling to be named captain.”
It will no doubt puzzle Sunderland fans to see Clarke-Salter holding such a lofty position.
The young defender spent the second-half of the 2017-18 season on loan at Sunderland. He was Chris Coleman’s first signing as Black Cats boss, with the hope being he would help shore up a leaky defence.
But it did not work out that way. He had a poor game as Sunderland lost 4-0 to Cardiff City on his debut. He then went on to pick up a costly red card against Middlesbrough in February before being sent off again against Preston in his first game back.
It was a disastrous loan spell but Clarke-Salter has put all that behind him. An excellent season on loan at Dutch side Vitesse has the youngster in fine form ahead of the European Championships this summer.
No Sunderland fan would begrudge him lifting up the trophy at the end of the competition. They might, however, be a little surprised.