The inclusion of Jesús Vallejo, who has yet to play an official match for Real Madrid, along with Carles Aleñá (Barcelona), Fabián Ruiz (Betis), Pablo Maffeo (Girona) and Aleix Febas (Zaragoza), were the surprises in Albert Celades' squad list for next month's 2019 U21 EURO qualifier against Slovakia; Spain's Under-21s will be aiming to make their way up Group 2, where they sit fourth after winning their only qualifier so far - the 0-1 win over Estonia earlier this month.
Madrid doctors assess Vallejo before call-up
The coach explained the reason why Vallejo has been called: "We have been waiting to see how he is progressing; he's had two injuries and we have spoken about his situation with the doctors at Real Madrid. Yesterday he started to train with the group so we decided to include him. We'll see how he gets on this week because it's been a long time since he last played and we'll make a decision as to whether he plays or not.
Celades has called up 24 players for his preliminary list - the squad will be reduced to 20 players on Sunday 8th October - two days before the match in Poprad against Pavel Hapal's Slovakia side who top the group on six points.
Spain Under-21s squad:
Goalkeepers: Unai Simón (Athletic), Iván Villar (Celta), Antonio Sivera (Alavés),
Defenders: Unai Núñez (Athletic), Aarón Martín (Espanyol), Pol Lirola (Sassuolo), Jorge Meré (Köln), Toni Lato (Valencia), Jesús Vallejo (Real Madrid), Jorge Sáenz (Tenerife), Pablo Maffeo (Girona).
Midfielders: Carles Aleñá (Barcelona), Mikel Merino (Newcastle), Igor Zubeldia (Real Sociedad), Carlos Soler (Valencia), Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid), Rodrigo Hernández (Villarreal, Fabián Ruiz (Betis), Aleix Febas (Zaragoza)
Forwards: Marc Gual (Sevilla), Borja Mayoral (Real Madrid), Mikel Oyarzábal (Real Sociedad).