By Danny Wright
England Under-19 boss Keith Downing has said that Nottingham Forest’s Ben Brereton has made a strong bid to be involved in his European Championship squad this summer.
The Young Lions have booked their place in the youth tournament in Georgia by winning all three of their qualification group matches over the past week.
Brereton was handed his first taste of football in an England shirt when he came off the bench for the final 16 minutes of England’s 5-1 thrashing of Belarus on Monday.
Downing, who was formerly the assistant manager at West Brom, believes that the Forest teenager made a good account of himself while on international duty and he will consider Brereton to be a part of his tournament squad in the summer.
“There’s only 18 spaces and one or two have missed these games through injury. He’s staked a good claim,” said the senior England figure, as quoted by the Nottingham Post.
“I hope he’s learned a lot about how international football is played. It’s not all about the physical challenge.
“It’s about tactical awareness, where the spaces are and how the opposition is playing up against you.”
Brereton has been in brilliant form for Forest since he was handed his senior debut against Leeds in January by Gary Brazil.
Two games later, the 17-year-old scored his first goal with a last gasp winner in a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
He has since become a valuable part of the Nottingham Forest first team and newly appointed boss Mark Warburton appears to want to try and utilise the striker as much as possible when he gave him a full 90 minutes of action in his first game in charge against Derby.
In total, Brereton has made 10 appearances for the Reds and has scored three times.
In other Nottingham Forest news, Rangers chairman Dave King has sent a warning to the club following Warburton’s appointment.