Stuart Pearce has named his England Under 21 squad to face Sweden at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium next Tuesday.
Phil Jones, Raheem Sterling, Jonjo Shelvey, Jordan Henderson and Derby youngster Will Hughes, who made his debut against Northern Ireland in November, are all included.
“Will Hughes is a real talent in the Championship and he’s exciting to watch,” said Stuart Pearce. “We have to make sure he doesn’t play too many games as he’s still young but he’s worthy of his place in that Derby team as he makes them tick.”
Pearce also told thefa.com: “It has been nearly three months since we were last together as a squad, so we are looking forward to meeting up again at St. George’s Park to spend time working on our preparations for what will be an important year.
“We’ve always said that reaching major Finals at youth level is vital in a player’s development so they can learn about what they might expect, should they progress to the Senior Team and find themselves at a World Cup or European Championship.
“For a number of the young players lucky enough to experience the Finals in June it will prove to be an invaluable time in Israel, and perhaps a springboard to Roy’s side, with Brazil 2014 on the horizon.”
Full Squad (from The FA)
Ben Amos (Manchester United), Declan Rudd (Norwich City), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough)
Ryan Bennett (Norwich City), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Craig Dawson (Bolton Wanderers – loan from West Brom), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Tom Lees (Leeds United), Jack Robinson (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Adam Smith (Millwall – loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool)
Nat Chalobah (Watford – loan from Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Will Hughes (Derby County), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest), Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers), Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough – loan from Chelsea), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers – loan from Arsenal), Tom Ince (Blackpool), Connor Wickham (Sunderland), Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace – loan from Manchester United)