Christian Walton has been delighted to make the step-up into the England under-21 squad and is ready to battle with Jordan Pickford for the number one jersey.
The Albion goalkeeper has made a rapid progression from the under-19 set-up in the last couple of years and is eager to maintain his place in Gareth Southgate’s squad.
He said, “He’s [Pickford] doing well on loan playing Championship football and I’ve got to be patient.
“I’m not playing regularly at the minute, but that’s my aim. I’ve got to be pushing him when I do go away with the international team and get myself playing league football.
“Jordan is 18 months older than me and has had a lot more development time, so hopefully by the time I’m his age I’ll be playing first-team football."
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The 20-year-old has noticed the technical differences since settling into the under-21 squad and is delighted to be training alongside club team-mates Jake Forster-Caskey and Solly March.
“After moving up into the under-21s, you notice the step-up in quality because you’re training with an older calibre of player and some of them have played over 100 games in the Premier League.
“They’ve got that experience. Training is a lot better, but the quality in all the England squads is great because they’re the best young players in the country.
“It’s benefiting me so much and it’s helping to improve my game.
“It was a lot easier for me having Jake and Solly here because it allows me to settle in quicker. But I know a lot of the lads already from the under-19 and under-20 squads, so there were only a few new faces.”
Walton is now targeting a return to regular club action after his recent loan spell at League One Bury was curtailed due to a groin injury.
“It was a great experience for me and I really enjoyed it. I was disappointed that it was cut short due to the injury, but it was great for me to play league football every week at a really good standard.
“It is a little bit different to playing Championship football, but was great playing in League One at 19 and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to get out on loan to get some more games.”
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