Gareth Southgate explained that Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori were still in contention for England selection, following their Chelsea departures.
Speaking to the media (as quoted by the Evening Standard), Southgate said he had not forgotten about the two Cobham academy graduates.
Both of the former Blues pupils left their boyhood club in the summer, after finding routes to the first-team suddenly blocked.
Tomori was sent away by Frank Lampard in January to join AC Milan on loan, a surprise decision considering the Chelsea greats reliance on youth.
After impressing his Italian employers, the defender signed a permanent contract worth £25m (Sky Sports).
Another product of the Lampard revolution, Abraham had his life turned upside down when Thomas Tuchel took over in January.
He was shunted to the wings, exiled to the substitutes bench and sometimes even omitted from the matchday squad.
The 23-year-old followed in Tomori’s footsteps by setting sail for Serie A.
There, Abraham linked up with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, newly appointed in charge of Roma.
Now the duo are away from the strangles of Stamford Bridge, they can focus on reigniting their still promising careers.
This will undoubtedly involve breaking back into the England set-up, especially with the World Cup just around the corner.
Southgate sends out a lifeline
Some might say the pair are at a disadvantage, due to being out of the Premier League spotlight.
But Southgate insisted this was not the case.
“Just because they leave the Premier League it doesn’t mean they are out of our thoughts,” said the Three Lions coach.
“Fikayo, we have been monitoring very closely throughout his time at Milan and we will do the same with Tammy.
“It’s early stages for Tammy at Roma and the league is a different sort of challenge having watched a fair bit in the last couple of years.
“But good for him, he needs to be playing. It’s brave to take that new adventure on and I’m sure it’s one he can succeed at.”
It’s been just under a year since either Abraham or Tomori have been called up for national service.
Abraham’s last appearance came in November 2020, Tomori’s one and only senior cap in 2019.
Competition for places up front are going to be heavily contested, but centre-back is certainly a position that could be revamped.
Hopefully for the duo sakes, their Italian jobs will bring about English euphoria.