Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Adam Lallana has joined the England under-21 set-up to act as a coach and mentor to the youngsters.
The 35-year-old was at St. George’s Park on Tuesday, and The Times reports that he will remain with Lee Carsley’s side for the next three camps.
The European champions are short on coaching options following the departure of Joleon Lescott, who left Carsley’s staff after the tournament in Georgia.
The England U21 boss has moved swiftly to replace the former Manchester City defender by approaching Lallana, who received greenlight from Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi to take up the role.
Lallana’s appointment comes after glowing recommendations from Levi Colwill, who cited the former Liverpool man as a huge part of development during a loan spell at the Amex Stadium last season.
The highly-rated Chelsea defender has made strides at Stamford Bridge this season, having impressed last term as Brighton qualified for Europe and is considered a pivotal part of the Blues’ long-term plans.
Colwill, who was a vital part of Carsley’s side that triumphed in Georgia and earned a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s senior team, described Lallana as a ‘huge influence’ on his career.
“I am someone who is a chilled person, and sometimes I need someone to give me a bit of a push,” Colwill said.
“At first I did not really understand why he was always on me. But then once it clicked in my head, I realised that he was only trying to help me.
“There were times when I was having an off day or not really feeling like myself, and he was there, no matter what, pushing me.
“It was about communication. He was always putting his arm around me, the same as Lewis Dunk.”
Lallana will be joining an England U21 side that has seen a lot of changes, although they retained captain Taylor Harwood-Bellis, James Trafford, Harvey Elliott, Cole Palmer and Noni Madueke.
Carsley’s side will face Luxembourg next Monday before hosting Serbia on October 12 at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground.
- Paul Merson predicts who will secure Champions League football – Tottenham or Aston Villa
- Chris Sutton predicts score of Everton clash v West Ham
- Predicted Everton starting line-up v West Ham
- FA Cup quarter-final predictions – Manchester City and Liverpool favourites ahead of United
- David Prutton predicts outcome of Huddersfield v Leeds United