Calum Chambers has had advice from a German star as he tries to beat the old rivals.
The Arsenal youngster credits Per Mertesacker as his “mentor”. And if he can help England shut out Germany in Tuesday’s semi-final, defender Chambers believes his team-mate will deserve some of the credit.
“The player who has helped me a lot would be Per,” said Chambers, 22.
“Being in the same position, he was almost like my mentor for a couple of years. I have never seen a player so professional, dedicated. For him mentally, every little thing he could do, he did.
“That’s rubbed off on me. There were times when he would be looking at me and say, ‘You could do this,’ and that’s rubbed off. That’s helped me realise the little things you do – the tiny little one or two per cents – get you where you want to be.”
Chambers says his England Under-21 squad are up for a “historic” European Championship semi-final against Germany on Tuesday, and says there was a buzz in the camp when they discovered their opponents.
The former Southampton starlet, who will return to the Gunners for pre-season after making 26 appearances in a year on loan at now-relegated Middlesbrough, said: “It is a massive game, just a big occasion. There is that feel-good factor about the game.
“It was like, ‘Yes, we’re playing Germany! This is it. Give it everything we’ve got.’ Everyone was looking at each other. We were all in the team room together, the boys watching it.
“It would have been there’d have been excitement going into the semis. But Germany, everyone was looking around like it has an extra edge.”