Part of the England Under-21s squad that bowed out of the European Under-21 Championships in Czech Republic on Wednesday, Tom Carroll says his experiences in the Premier League with Swansea City last season have only made him hungrier for more top level action.
The 23-year-old linked up with the Swans in August and made 18 appearances for them in all competitions, scoring in an FA Cup third round win at Tranmere Rovers, before an ankle injury ruled him out for the last few weeks of the campaign.
He recovered in time to take part in both matches on our post-season tour of Malaysia and Australia before starting two of England Under-21s’ three matches at the aforementioned European tournament. He also had the distinction of captaining the Young Lions on occasion during 2014-15 – an achievement he confirms he’s very proud of.
Having spent time on loan in the Championship with Queens Park Rangers back in 2013-14, the central midfielder says being in and around a Premier League side on a weekly basis in 2014-15 was the next natural step for him – and now he’s eager for more top level playing time as the new season draws ever nearer...
Thoughts on the season overall?
I think it was a good one for me and it was almost the next step after being on loan in the Championship last year. I knew I had to go out and play in the Premier League this year and I needed that first start, which I got, before playing some more games so, all in all, it was good. Every player wants to play in the Premier League and last season was a chance for me to do that with Swansea. I made 13 appearances for them in the top flight, plus five in the cups, so that’s a good step.
Your personal highlight of the season?
Captaining England Under-21s was definitely one of them. It’s a proud moment to play for your country at any level and to captain the Under-21s was a big honour for me and something I’m really proud of. But also playing in the Premier League was a highlight. That was my aim at the start of the season and to achieve that was good.
Plans for the summer?
I met straight up with England Under-21s after the Malaysia and Australia trip. I’d been out for five or six weeks before going on the post-season tour so I’ve been quite fresh. It won’t be long before I start back for pre-season training.
Thoughts on pre-season?
It is tough, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m keen to make an impact in pre-season and go from there.
Hopes for next season?
I want to try to establish myself more in the Premier League. That’s my aim. Once you get back for pre-season you’ve got to crack on, get your head down and really try to perform well.
Nabil Bentaleb will be in the hot seat for ‘Five questions for summer’ on Monday. Plus, be sure to catch up on Andros Townsend’s answers from Friday...