Ruben Loftus-Cheek will play no part in England's final European Under-21 Championship qualifying fixture against Bosnia and Herzegovina. The budding Chelsea midfielder and highly-rated Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell have both pulled out of Aidy Boothroyd's squad for this afternoon's (11 October) clash at the Banks's Stadium in Walsall due to injury issues.
England confirmed the duo's withdrawal on Tuesday morning, but neglected to specify exactly what the respective problems were. The Young Lions, under the temporary charge of U20 chief Boothroyd while usual coach Gareth Southgate manages the senior team on an initial caretaker basis following the departure of Sam Allardyce, assured top spot in Group 9 and sealed their place in next summer's finals in Poland after Demarai Gray notched the only goal of a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan last Thursday.
"Under-21s pair Ben Chilwell and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have left the squad through injury and returned to Leicester and Chelsea respectively," it was revealed via England's official Twitter account.
Neither Chelsea nor Leicester have commented any further on those injuries, so it remains to be seen if either player – both U21 regulars and members of the squad who triumphed at the prestigious Toulon tournament for the first time since 1994 in May – is set for an extended spell on the sidelines.
Academy graduate Loftus-Cheek made 17 appearances during a tumultuous campaign for Chelsea last term that followed his two substitute cameos for England at the last U21 tournament. Southgate's side, who managed to beat eventual champions Sweden, exited at the group stage in the Czech Republic after defeats to Portugal and Italy.
He has struggled for regular first-team opportunities under Antonio Conte, however, featuring only in EFL Cup wins over Bristol Rovers and Leicester since the flamboyant Italian arrived to succeed Guus Hiddink in July. He was also left on the bench for a trio of Premier League wins over West Ham, Watford and Burnley.
Despite Chilwell being labelled as a star of the future amid summer interest from the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal, the 19-year-old remains firmly behind Christian Fuchs in Claudio Ranieri's defensive pecking order and has been similarly restricted to cup appearances so far in 2016/17. Defending champions Leicester actually travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday lunchtime (15 October) for the first top-flight clash following the recent international break.