Nigel Clough has told Louis Reed to report for England duty next week with his “head held high” after insisting the midfielder is “the equal” of his international colleagues.
Reed, aged 17, has been selected in the under-18 squad which faces Switzerland at Walsall next weekend following a behind-closed-doors friendly at St George’s Park.
The Sheffield United youngster is the only player from a League One club recognised by Young Lions coach Neil Dewsnip with 70 per cent of the 20 man party attached to top-flight sides.
“Louis has got to go there, stick his chest out, hold his head-up high and say ‘I’m an equal of these guys,” Clough said. “If you count the number of games he’s played already, I bet he’s got more under his belt than most of them.”
Reed has made 30 appearances for United this season and Clough, the United manager, added: “He’s going to learn so much from being there. It’s a different game with a different group of players and very, very technically focused.
“But, like I say, Louis is there on merit. He’s in there because it’s been recognised that he is good enough.”