Patrick Vieira says Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi’s chance to earn senior England caps will come, but consistency at Crystal Palace will be key to any call-up.
Southgate revealed that the pair were on the brink of making the latest squad for the World Cup qualifying campaign.
“Emile [Smith Rowe], Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi, in particular, are all playing very well with their clubs, but we’ve got depth," the England manager explained.
“To put those in we’ve got to leave some of these on the sheet out and I think it’s not a bad thing that we’re starting to get a very strong Under-21s team because you want that depth.”
Vieira implored his young charges to bide their time.
“Gareth [Southgate] knows how to deal with those kinds of situations with young players,” Vieira said in his pre-Wolves press conference. “I think when you are a young player and the international manager mentions your name, it gives you some excitement.
“Now it’s about keeping working, keeping doing what they are doing and keeping progressing. If the door is open it’s about taking the chance. It’s about how much they want it, how hard they are prepared to work to take that opportunity, that chance.
“They are in a good place, and now they just need to wait for the right time to be selected, but before they are selected they need to perform well for us.”
Despite their name-check from the England manager, Vieira was relaxed about Gallagher and Guehi, explaining that their increased prominence would not affect their work ethic.
“We are not worried at all, because they are not just good football professionals, but they are good human beings as well,” he said. “They know they haven’t achieved what they want to [yet], and there is still a long way to go.
“Even the praise from the England manager does not worry me at all, because they are still working hard, still challenging themselves. That’s why I believe they will make it in the national team.
“I think it’s always good when your name is out there. I think [Conor] and some other players names have been mentioned, and this is a step forward. It’s important for them to keep performing well for us, with us, and that will allow them to go to the national team."