The England under-21 national team will be without Premier League duo Harry Winks and Mason Holgate for their upcoming double-header against Romania and Ukraine, the FA have confirmed.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Winks, who made his senior England debut last year, will return to the North London to undergo further tests after picking up an ankle injury.

This comes as a further blow for the 22-year-old, who was forced to pull out of the November friendlies with Aidy Boothroyd’s side through injury.

Winks has had an impressive campaign in the middle of the park for Spurs and has clearly earned the trust of manager Mauricio Pochettino who has placed his faith in the youngster for some of Tottenham’s most crucial matches in both the Premier League and the Champions League.

As for Everton’s Holgate, however, the situation is less positive, with the 21-year-old set to undergo ankle surgery to overcome his injury troubles and is likely to face a longer period out on the sidelines.

The defender has featured prominently for the Toffees this season, making 21 appearances in all competitions. On Saturday afternoon, the under-21s will take on Romania in a friendly match at Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Molineux Stadium in preparation for Tuesday’s European Championship qualifier against Ukraine.

“It’s been a good start to our new Euro campaign,” Boothroyd is quoted as saying by the Sun.

“We’ve got 13 points from the five games, a five-point lead at the top of our group and after analysing all of those games from different areas, we still think we could be better, so that’s a real positive.

“We’ll now be working hard to make sure we keep improving on our games so far and we’ve got two matches this month against Romania and Ukraine to try and do that.”


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