Stuart Pearce names Callum McManaman in his 23-man squad for Euro Finals in Israel
Stuart Pearce has handed Wigan Athletic winger Callum McManaman his first call-up to England’s Under-21s for next month’s UEFA European Championship in Israel.
The Three Lions play their opening game against Italy in Tel Aviv on 5 June, and on Tuesday afternoon at St. George’s Park Pearce unveiled his 23-man squad for the Finals.
McManaman, who worked alongside Pearce at the U20s World Cup in 2011, was the Latics’ star performer in their 1-0 FA Cup Final win over Manchester City on Saturday.
His displays for Roberto Martinez’s men this season have earned him a chance at another major tournament for the Three Lions, following his exploits in Colombia two years ago.
“I’ve made it my business over the last six weeks to have a real good look at Callum,” Pearce told TheFA.com. “I think he’s finding his confidence now, he’s been nurtured very well by Wigan.
“He’s played so well and the culmination of that was a fantastic game in The Final. That will give his self-esteem the world of good.”
Pearce continued: “We’re pleased with his development and that happens with players. He came on the international scene a few years ago at U20 level, now he’s found form at the right time, just before a major championship.
“I’ve seen fit to take him, even though he’s not played Under-21 football.”
However, Pearce will be without Liverpool wide-man Raheem Sterling, who will miss the Championship through injury, while Manchester City’s Jack Rodwell is also absent from the list.
“Raheem’s had a thigh problem that he’s been nursing for some time, and he’s not played for Liverpool for the last six or seven weeks. It’s a real disappointment because his form for the Under-21s of late has been outstanding.
“But if they’re not fit, I can’t pick them.”
Another player to be given the nod despite not yet making his Under-21s debut is Southampton left back Luke Shaw.
The 17-year-old was involved in Pearce’s squad in February, but injury kept him out of the game with Sweden. With Danny Rose missing the first match in Israel due to suspension, the Three Lions needed cover at full-back.
Pearce has also called Steven Caulker back into a defensive unit that has not conceded a goal during an impressive nine-game winning streak.
The Tottenham Hotspur man has been part of Roy Hodgson’s senior squad for the last three get-togethers but looks set to be re-united with Craig Dawson, with whom he has struck a formidable partnership at centre-back.
Having already guided England to three major tournaments at under-21s level, including the Final back in 2009 where they lost to Germany, the former England left-back is focused on going all the way this time around.
“We set out two years ago to win the tournament,” he added. “It’s a four-step process; you have to get out of your group in qualification, you have to win the play-off, get out of the group in the Finals, then win the tournament.
“We’ve done two of those, and now we want to go the rest of the way and lift the trophy.”
(Stoke City), Declan Rudd
(Norwich City), Jason Steele
(Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Clyne
(Southampton), Craig Dawson
(West Bromwich Albion), Tom Lees
(Leeds United), Danny Rose
(Tottenham Hotspur), Luke Shaw
(Southampton), Adam Smith
(Tottenham Hotspur), Andre Wisdom
(Watford - loan from Chelsea), Jordan Henderson
(Liverpool), Tom Ince
(Blackpool), Henri Lansbury
(Nottingham Forest), Jason Lowe
(Blackburn Rovers), Josh McEachran
(Chelsea), Callum McManaman
(Wigan Athletic), Jonjo Shelvey
(Liverpool), Andros Townsend
(Queens Park Rangers - loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
(Bolton Wanderers), Connor Wickham
(Sunderland), Wilfried Zaha
(Crystal Palace - on loan from Manchester United)
Fans not travelling to Israel to see England in action can watch all the games live on Sky Sports.
England's Group Fixtures
5 June v Italy, Tel Aviv (7.30pm)
8 June v Norway, Petah Tikva (5pm)
11 June v Israel, Jerusalem (5pm)
KO times BST
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