BLANKENHAIN (Germany), June 13 ― Crystal Palace midfielder Adam Wharton said receiving an England call-up for the European Championship was a “surreal” moment after the 20-year-old made a big impression in the second half of the season following his switch to the Premier League.

Five months ago, Wharton was playing for Blackburn Rovers who were hovering above the relegation zone in the second-tier Championship before Palace signed him on a five-and-a-half-year contract on deadline day in the mid-season transfer window.

He has since become an integral part of Oliver Glasner's midfield at Palace who ended the season strongly and finished 10th in the table.

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Wharton was named in the England squad by Gareth Southgate this month as several high-profile players missed out.

“It's a surreal feeling. Honestly, I wasn't expecting it,” Wharton told reporters yesterday, a week after making his England debut in a friendly win over Bosnia & Herzegovina.

“Obviously, I have only just gone into the Premier League. It was more sort of a bonus if I did get in, but I am absolutely delighted. I get to do what I love on the top stage, you can't beat it.

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“I don't really think about it too much, it's more football for me. It has gone really fast, I have really enjoyed the last six months and I just want to keep playing, getting better. Absolutely delighted.”

Wharton is the least-experienced player in the England squad and although he may not be the first choice to start in their Group C opener against Serbia, he will be ready if Southgate gives him a chance.

“The manager picks the team. Obviously, there are some unbelievable players,” he said.

“If I am chosen to play I am more than ready but whoever is on pitch I'm sure will step up perform and help the team get the result we want.”

Wharton said fellow midfielder Declan Rice has taken him under his wing, giving him tips on body positioning and communication on the pitch.

“He's a top guy off the pitch as well, speaking to him, getting those little things,” Wharton said.

“I'm learning off everyone though but especially him... He has really welcomed me into the squad.” ― Reuters