Trevor Brooking worried by Henderson and Jones moves

European Under-21 Football Championship

Country:
Denmark
Dates:
11-25 June
Coverage:
England v Spain, Saturday 11 June, 1945 BST: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5 live, television coverage on Sky Sports

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Competition may limit Henderson and Jones' chances - Brooking

Sir Trevor Brooking is worried over how much first-team playing time England Under-21 duo Phil Jones and Jordan Henderson will get at their new clubs.

At Manchester United Jones, 19, is one of six centre-backs and Henderson, 20, who has joined Liverpool, will be among seven other central midfielders.

"There is going to be competition for places," the Football Association's director of development told BBC Sport.

"With anything like that will they get regular first-team football?"

But Brooking added: "Let's wait and see and we wish them well."

Defender Jones completed his move to Manchester United from Blackburn for £17m on Wednesday, and will battle for a place in the starting line-up with Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Wes Brown, if he stays with the club.

Central midfielder Henderson signed for Liverpool in a reported £20m deal on Thursday and faces competition from seven players in his position including Steven Gerrard, Raul Meireles and Lucas Leiva.

"Phil is one we think could be challenging to get into the seniors like Jordan has already done," Brooking added.

"The fees put a bit of pressure on them but of course, like any young English player, we would like them to get regular first-team football so we hope they are going to play regularly.

"At Blackburn and Sunderland they were playing every week when they were fit and that's really important for their development.

"It is a challenge. You look at Manchester United and you have Phil Jones going there, you've also got Chris Smalling who is trying to battle away to try and get in the side.

"He's had a couple of games at right-back but again our two [England Under-21] central defenders will now be at Manchester United."

Brooking will be closely monitoring the likes of Jones and Henderson as the England Under-21s begin their challenge at the European Championship against Spain on Sunday in Denmark, with manager Stuart Pearce having to deal with a number of big-name absentees.

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs, Liverpool's Andy Carroll and Manchester City's Micah Richards have all pulled out of the squad through tiredness or injury.

In contrast, Spain boast two players who featured in the senior team's World Cup-winning squad in South Africa last summer.

Jordan Henderson (left) and Phil Jones
Henderson and Jones are among the high-profile names in Denmark

Pearce has complained his more established players will miss out on tournament experience which would stand them in good stead during their senior careers.

And Brooking's concerns will add weight to Pearce's worries that the most talented individuals will also lack first-team experience at club level.

Smalling moved from Fulham to Manchester United in 2010, making 23 starts last season including last season's Champions League semi-final against Schalke.

But others in England's Under-21 squad have been forced to move from their parent clubs to gain more first-team appearances.

Daniel Sturridge scored eight goals in 12 starts for Bolton since moving to the Trotters on loan in January. In contrast, he made only two starts in two seasons at Chelsea.

Danny Welbeck has also made an impact since leaving Manchester United to join Sunderland on loan, although the striker was sidelined for a period of last season because of a knee injury.

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