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Page last updated at 18:45 GMT, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:45 UK

Jack Wilshere called into England Under-21 squad

Jack Wilshere
Wilshere has started both of Arsenal's Premier League games this season

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been named in England's Under-21 squad for their two European Championship qualifying games in September.

Wilshere, 18, featured for England's senior side against Hungary two weeks ago but Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce has been allowed to recall him.

Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs has not been called up by Pearce and could retain his place in the senior squad.

The U21s first travel to Portugal and then face Lithuania in Colchester.

Manchester City defender Micah Richards and Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell have also been named in Pearce's 24-man squad, dashing their hopes of featuring in the senior England squad for the opening Euro 2012 qualifying matches.

Fabio Capello's side face Bulgaria on Friday 3 September before taking on Switzerland on Tuesday 7 September, the same dates as the Under-21s are in action.

Super Sam formally Russian23

Pearce insisted Wilshere, who has started both of Arsenal's Premier League games this season, should not be overly disappointed at being brought back into the Under-21 squad having played for the senior side.

"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."

Liverpool defender Martin Kelly, Blackburn defender Phil Jones, Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson, Wigan striker Victor Moses and Aston Villa winger Marc Albrighton have retained their places after making their debuts against Uzbekistan in the last game.

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

"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."

Albrighton's Villa team-mate Nathan Delfouneso is also back in Pearce's squad, while Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies, who has previously been capped at Under-17 and Under-19 level, has received a first call-up.

Pearce explained: "He's had a lot of experience at Huddersfield over the last couple of years and is a goalkeeper who can play again in the next campaign for us.

"We feel he has done extremely well when we've seen him and even though he's young, he's played a lot of matches, which is similar to Joe Hart when he was playing for Shrewsbury for a couple of years before he went to Manchester City."

England Under 21 squad.

Frankie Fielding (Blackburn), Scott Loach (Watford), Alex Smithies (Huddersfield); Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea - on loan at Nottingham Forest), Phil Jones (Blackburn), Martin Kelly (Liverpool), Michael Mancienne (Chelsea), Micah Richards (Man City), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), Kyle Walker (Tottenham);
Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa), Tom Cleverly (Man Utd), Jack Cork (Chelsea - on loan at Burnley), Jordan Henderson (Sunderland), Henri Lansbury (Arsenal), Victor Moses (Wigan), Fabrice Muamba (Bolton), Jack Rodwell (Everton), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal); Andy Carroll (Newcastle), Nathan Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd - on loan at Sunderland)

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see also
England 2018 Cup bid 'unbeatable'
23 Aug 10 |  Football
Next manager will be English - FA
15 Aug 10 |  Football
England 2-1 Hungary
11 Aug 10 |  Football
Gerrard hails England's new breed
11 Aug 10 |  Football
Uncapped trio in England overhaul
07 Aug 10 |  Football
England U21s leave out Wilshere
05 Aug 10 |  Football

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