Martinez: Ross outgrown U21s

England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate appears to have effectively ruled out selecting Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling for the tournament, having now become a regular with the senior side, and Martinez feels Barkley falls into the same category.

The Toffees manager said: “Ross has been involved in the best possible tournament ??? the World Cup with the senior side ??? so I don’t think other tournaments can be a positive for him or the rest of the squad.

“Those experiences for the under-21s are to prepare you for the senior level and once you have reached the senior level I think you are blocking someone else’s path.

“Ross has been full of terrific experiences and is growing all the time. Clearly it will be a decision based on what the under-21s manager wants to do.

“We have a very good relationship with the FA and Gareth Southgate and we will speak about it I am sure.???

Martinez is disappointed at losing on penalties to West Ham in the FA Cup in midweek but is hoping to maximise the benefit a free weekend later this month by taking his squad abroad.

He added: “We are looking into if we have an opportunity to work in a warm-weather training camp, which would help as you can get extra work done.???

As for the third round replay defeat at Upton Park, the Spaniard said he would like to see a change in the rules: “Any other competition around the world we would have got through on away goals.

“We had to go through the lottery of penalties and unfortunately luck didn’t allow us to get through.

“With the reality of the amount of games we have in the programme it is impossible to have too many replays but I think if you can avoid penalties to decide things it is better than being in the lap of the gods.

“I’d rather toss a coin at that point as you avoid a lot of the emotions. Away goals is something that is used in other competitions and works well and it would force teams to go out and score goals.”

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