Gareth Southgate has been appointed as the new England Under-21 head coach, FA's official website confirmed.

Following an interview with the 42-year-old earlier this morning, Southgate has been named as Stuart Pearce's successor to coach the young English players.

Southgate has signed a three-year contract with the Football Association.

Southgate said: “I’m delighted to get this role and extremely excited about the prospect of working with the best and brightest young players in the country"

The former Middlesbrough boss will begin work immediately ahead of the England Under-21 team’s September qualifiers.

“I'm a proud Englishman and playing for my country was the pinnacle of my playing career," he continued.

"Since retiring as a player I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience of the game both here and abroad, and I'm eager to play my part in preparing players to compete at the highest level."

Southgate, who has not held a managerial position since being sacked by Middlesbrough in 2009, faced tough competition with former England, Boro and Twente boss McClaren and ex-Blackburn Rovers man Appleton for the position.

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