Hodgson has named uncapped Barkley and Tottenham winger Andros Townsend in his squad for England's World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.
Hodgson said: "He impressed me when I worked with him at St George's and at Sheffield Wednesday, and quite a few other people impressed at that that time - Raheem Sterling and of course Andros Townsend, who was on the radar before the Under-21s.
"In choosing these players we are giving ourselves a chance to look at players who are capable of having a bright future.
"I don't think there is a question that this is a philosophy of we will only play this or that type of player. Players like Barkley, Townsend and Sterling can make a difference and in a team they can be players that make a big impact. They are there on merit. It's nice that they're younger.
"I would expect them in the coming years to share roles. I don't expect them not to play a part in the Under-21s. Players need to understand because the door is open at senior level, it doesn't mean you close the door at Under-21 level."
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