Wilshere named in Under-21s squad

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Football News

Jack Wilshere's hopes of an extended run in Fabio Capello's squad received a blow on Tuesday when he was named in England's Under-21 squad for next month's European Championship double-header.

The Arsenal midfielder played in England's friendly international success over Hungary two weeks ago, replacing Steven Gerrard for the closing stages of the contest. However, Stuart Pearce has named Wilshere in his Under-21 squad for the qualifying matches against Portugal and Lithuania.

"Jack's had the experience of an international cap with the seniors and his development will come," said Pearce.

"Like Theo Walcott, I think having the experience of playing with the Under-21s and seniors will be a help to him and is something he will have to come to terms with.

"He shouldn't feel disappointed that he's been in the senior squad and then come back to the Under-21s and that's the mentality he has to come to the squad with."

Manchester City defender Micah Richards and Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell, who were also hoping to feature in England's opening Euro 2012 qualifying matches against Bulgaria and Switzerland next month, have also been named in Pearce's 24-man Under-21 squad.

However, Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs - who figured in England's defeat of Hungary, also as a second-half substitute - appears to be in line for another senior call having been left out.

Pearce added: "It's the strongest squad we could have got at this stage of the season. Kieran Gibbs aside, we're looking pretty strong.

"I was very impressed with the contribution of the players in the last match and the majority of those players are in, with one or two additions on top of that."

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Kieran Gibbs
Manchester City
Premier League
Stuart Pearce
Micah Richards
Steven Gerrard
Jack Wilshere
Theo Walcott
Jack Rodwell

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