Chukwuemeka pulls out of England squad for U-20 W/Cup

Nigeria born England junior international Carney Chukwuemeka has put club ahead of country after deciding to see out the remainder of Chelsea’s season ahead of England Under-20 duty.

The 19-year-old has decided to delay joining his Young Lions team-mates in order to finish the Blues’ Premier League campaign.

The decision has reportedly been agreed between the midfield and the west London outfit – in a blow to England U20 coach Ian Foster.

Chelsea are currently dealing with an injury crisis in midfield with N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount dealing with issues.

As a result, it’s been decided that Chukwuemeka will remain with interim manager Frank Lampard’s squad until their Premier League season finale at home to Newcastle on May 28.

The consequence of this though means he will miss England’s entire group stage of the Under-20 World Cup.

Drawn in Group E, the Young Lions face Tunisia on May 22, Uruguay three days later before concluding against Iraq on May 28.

Chukwuemeka’s choice is the latest blow to Foster ahead of his squad flying to Argentina as under tournament rules he is not be allowed to call-up a replacement.

It also means England will leave for South America later on Tuesday with only 16 players as four (Callum Doyle, Brooke Norton-Cuffy, Aaron Ramsey, Ronnie Edwards) are still involved in the Football League play-offs.

Chukwuemeka is eligible to play for the national teams of Austria, England, Nigeria. After making two appearances for England U17 national team, on 29 March 2021, he made his debut for the England U18 squad in 2–0 victory over Wales.

On 2 September 2021, Chukwuemeka made his debut for the England U19s during a 2–0 victory over Italy U19s at St. George’s Park, he also captained the side. On 10 November 2021, he scored his first englandU19 goal, in a 4–0 victory over Andorra U19 in a 2022 UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualification match.

On 17 June 2022, Chukwuemeka was named in the England squad for the 2022 UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals. Chukwuemeka featured in every game of their tournament, scoring in group stage victories against Austria and Serbia. On 1 July 2022, he scored the second goal in England’s 3–1 extra time victory over Israel in the final. His performances during the competition led to his inclusion in the UEFA team of the tournament.

On 21 September 2022, Chukwuemeka made his England U20 debut during a 3–0 victory over Chile at the Pinatar Arena.

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