Gareth Southgate brings England U21 to play Germany at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium

BORO & ENGLAND U21 DEFENDER: Ben Gibson. Picture by FRANK REID

BORO & ENGLAND U21 DEFENDER: Ben Gibson. Picture by FRANK REID

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FORMER Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate is on his way back to the Riverside.

Southgate’s England U21 side will take on Germany in a high-profile friendly on Monday, March 30.

England U21 are already no strangers to the Riverside, having played several international fixtures at the stadium since its opening in 1995, and this meeting with fellow European Championship finalists Germany is an attractive proposition for football fans in this region.

Southgate’s current squad includes home-grown Boro defender Ben Gibson and Chelsea loanee Patrick Bamford, who has been a big hit since arriving at the Riverside in the summer.

Goalkeeper Jamal Blackman, another player on loan from Chelsea, will also be vying for a place.

Boro chairman Steve Gibson said: “Middlesbrough Football Club are proud to be hosting yet another England U21 International.

“I am sure that the people of Teesside will come out in force to support Gareth Southgate and his players against a strong Germany team in advance of the European Championships next summer.

“Our club and Academy have maintained strong links with the England FA junior ranks and at the present time we have 18 players that have represented England at junior levels.

“These include Ben Gibson who has recently been selected for the U-21s squad under Gareth Southgate.

“We look forward to an exciting game and great atmosphere when Gareth brings his team to the Riverside in March next year‎.”

Former Boro manager and player Southgate added: “There is so much history to this fixture but we also know that at development level, Germany have really got so much right over the last few years.

“For us it’s a great benchmark and we’ve had some good games against Germany recently at other age groups so we want to keep challenging ourselves.

“We feel that playing top quality opposition will provide a vital learning experience.”