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Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 16:55 UK

Pearce tips Walcott for seniors

Theo Walcott
Walcott played for the England Under-21 team in Sweden in the summer

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce says Theo Walcott could force his way into the senior squad for Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Belarus.

Walcott scored on his first appearance of the season for Arsenal on Sunday.

The forward is in the Under-21 squad for Friday's European Championship qualifier against Macedonia and Pearce said: "We're pleased to have him.

"If he gets through with no problems I would recommend if there's availability that he's upgraded to the seniors."

Walcott featured in the European Under-21 Championships in the summer but injured his back in August while playing in a friendly for Arsenal.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had expressed concern that Walcott played at the Under-21 tournament in Sweden, saying the move disrupted the player's pre-season.


He was left out of the full squad for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine plus Wednesday's match with Belarus.

Pearce said on Tuesday: "I spoke with Arsene Wenger and we both agreed it would be right for Theo to come and join the squad."

Walcott scored for Arsenal in their 6-2 victory at home to Blackburn on Sunday, having come on as a substitute.

The former Southampton trainee replaces Sunderland's Lee Cattermole, who has a heel problem, in the Under-21 squad for the match at Coventry's Ricoh Arena.

Walcott, who has eight full England caps, scored a hat-trick for the senior team in their 4-1 World Cup qualifying win in Croatia in September 2008.

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see also
Walcott left out of England squad
04 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn
04 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Walcott fit for England matches
30 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Croatia 1-4 England
10 Sep 08 |  Internationals

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