Wigan winger Callum McManaman has received his first call-up to the England Under-21 squad for next month’s European Championship in Israel.
The 22-year-old is one of two uncapped players to be named in Stuart Pearce’s squad, alongside Southampton’s left-back Luke Shaw, who comes in as cover for the suspended Danny Rose.
McManaman worked with Pearce in the U20 World Cup two years ago and, after a star performance in the FA Cup Final last week capped off a very impressive season, has convinced Pearce to take him to Israel.
Pearce told the Football Association's official website: “I’ve made it my business over the last six weeks to have a real good look at Callum.
“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.
“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.”
Two players unavailable for the squad are Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Manchester City’s Jack Rodwell, both of whom miss out through injury.
Pearce added: “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.”
England, who open with a game against Italy in Tel Aviv on June 5, have been to three major tournaments at U21 level under Pearce’s stewardship, and the former England defender is hopeful of lifting the trophy this time around.
He added: “We set out two years ago to win the tournament.
“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.”
The full England U21 squad is below:
Jack Butland (Stoke), Declan Rudd (Norwich), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough)
Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Craig Dawson (West Brom), Tom Lees (Leeds), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Adam Smith (Tottenham), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool)
Nat Chalobah (Watford - loan from Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Tom Ince (Blackpool), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest), Jason Lowe (Blackburn), Josh McEachran (Chelsea), Callum McManaman (Wigan), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (QPR - loan from Tottenham)
Marvin Sordell (Bolton), Connor Wickham (Sunderland), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace - on loan from Manchester United)