McManaman makes England Under-21 cut

Wigan Athletic FC winger Callum McManaman was the surprise call-up when Stuart Pearce named his 23-man squad for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Israel.

Callum McManaman celebrates a goal for Wigan
Callum McManaman celebrates a goal for Wigan ©Getty Images

Wigan Athletic FC winger Callum McManaman has received his first call-up after Stuart Pearce named his 23-man England squad for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Israel.

One of the stars of Wigan's shock FA Cup final win against Manchester City FC on Saturday, 22-year-old McManaman has impressed Pearce, having previously worked under the manager when he assisted Brian Eastick at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2011. "I've made it my business over the last six weeks to have a real good look at Callum," Pearce said. "I think he's finding his confidence now – he's been nurtured very well by Wigan."

Liverpool FC wide man Raheem Sterling and Manchester City's Jack Rodwell have missed the cut, with Pearce explaining: "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 U21s of late has been outstanding. But if they're not fit, I can't pick them."

Steven Caulker has featured in the senior England squad in recent months but will return to the U21 ranks for the finals, having struck up an excellent central defensive partnership with Craig Dawson. Tellingly, England have not conceded a single goal during their impressive nine-game winning streak.

England meet Italy (5 June), Norway (8 June) and hosts Israel (11 June) in Group A at the final tournament, and Pearce is aiming high. "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."

England squad
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City FC), Declan Rudd (Norwich City FC), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough FC).

Defenders: Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton FC), Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion FC), Tom Lees (Leeds United AFC), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Luke Shaw (Southampton FC), Adam Smith (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool FC).

Midfielders: Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford FC*), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool FC), Tom Ince (Blackpool FC), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest FC), Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers FC), Josh McEachran (Chelsea FC), Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic FC), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool FC), Andros Townsend (Queens Park Rangers FC**).

Forwards: Marvin Sordell (Bolton Wanderers FC), Connor Wickham (Sunderland AFC), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace FC***).

*On loan from Chelsea
**On loan from Tottenham
***On loan from Manchester United FC