Muamba learns international lessons

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Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba admits he has learned some important lessons while on international duty with England Under-21s.

The former Arsenal academy graduate has been a regular for Stuart Pearce's side and was a member of the team which finished runners-up to Germany at the European Championships in Sweden this summer. Muamba feels that tournament, in particular, has had a major bearing on him and his future ambitions.

"I came back (from the European Championships) and decided I needed to be a different person and player, stronger and more mature," said the 21-year-old. "No-one is perfect so I try as best as I can and hopefully I can keep improving and perform at a consistent level as much as possible."

Muamba opted to leave Arsenal, for whom he made just two league cup appearances, in 2007 after spending a season on loan at Birmingham.

He was told by Arsenal he was unlikely to break into the first team and so made the £4million switch to St Andrew's.

However, he lasted just a further 12 months at Birmingham as, following relegation from the Premier League, he was among the group of signings by former Blues manager Steve Bruce labelled as "rubbish" by co-owner David Sullivan.

Bolton came in with a £5million bid and Muamba has not looked back since arriving at the Reebok Stadium.

A number of impressive performances as a defensive midfielder, keeping the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard quiet, has prompted talk of a call-up to the full England squad.

"I put pressure on myself to perform well because I want to return the favour to the club for what they have done for me," he said.

"I don't really worry much about England. All this England stuff will take care of itself, at the moment I am just concentrating on Bolton."

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Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Fabrice Muamba
Stuart Pearce
Steven Gerrard

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