Football

Campbell earns Pearce plaudits

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England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce believes Fraizer Campbell has the potential to emulate Arsenal forward Theo Walcott and eventually force his way into Fabio Capello's senior squad.

The Manchester United striker, who is on loan at Tottenham, scored for the under-21 side in their comfortable 2-0 victory over Czech Republic at Bramall Lane. Aston Villa's Craig Gardner also got on the scoresheet but it was the performance of man-of-the-match Campbell, who also won a penalty which was missed by Spurs team-mate Jamie O'Hara, that really stood out.

"Fraizer played well. He was a threat and is a goalscorer and he is one of those players who is a constant danger to defenders because of his pace and his ability to get in behind," Pearce said.

"When we look at the development of Theo Walcott - he played all the games for us in the campaign and started every match.

"He got a nice run of form, a nice run of matches and confidence which helped his club scenario and obviously helped his chances in the seniors.

"If we can give a grounding here - and this is a successful team - whoever comes in whether they are winning their first cap or not they have to pick up the mantle of a winning side.

"And if the likes of Fraizer Campbell and one or two others can get a goal and go back to the club on Saturday, whether it be a friendly or not, then they are heading in the right direction."

Campbell, who scored 15 goals in 34 appearances to help Hull win promotion to the Premier League last season, is a relatively recent addition to Pearce's squad having made his under-21 debut against Poland in March.

And while Pearce is full of admiration for the striker he admitted he is keen for the youngster to develop certain aspects of his game and get more experience.

"I don't think we are looking at the finished article in Fraizer but then I would say that anyone who is playing under-21 level if I'm honest," Pearce added. "There is still room for improvement for Fraizer. I'm aware of that, Fraizer is aware of that, and obviously the more experience he gets at club level the more we'll see a better player."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal
Internationals
Football
Manchester United
Stuart Pearce
Aston Villa
Hull City
Craig Gardner
Jamie O'Hara
Fraizer Campbell
Theo Walcott

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