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Campbell comeback earns England call

A few weeks after ending an 18-month injury absence, Sunderland AFC striker Fraizer Campbell has been given a first England call in a young squad named by caretaker coach Stuart Pearce.

Fraizer Campbell celebrates scoring for Sunderland earlier this month
Fraizer Campbell celebrates scoring for Sunderland earlier this month ©Getty Images

Caretaker England manager Stuart Pearce has called up his former Under-21 charge Fraizer Campbell and brought back Steven Gerrard in his squad for the Wembley friendly against the Netherlands next Wednesday.

Usually at the U21 helm, Pearce is taking charge against the Dutch following the departure earlier this month of Fabio Capello, with no decision yet taken on who will coach England at UEFA EURO 2012. Forward Campbell, 24, has been given a first senior selection after showing fine form for Sunderland AFC since returning last month from two serious knee injuries that kept him out for 18 months; he previously helped Pearce's England to the 2009 UEFA European U21 Championship final.

Gerrard, meanwhile, did not play at all for England in 2011 because of injury problems, and provides experience in a generally young squad which also features recalled goalkeeper Robert Green and defender Micah Richards, and uncapped midfielder Tom Cleverley. The Netherlands game is England's last until visiting Oslo to face Norway on 26 May, a week before Belgium come to Wembley. France, Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine await them in UEFA EURO 2012 Group D.

"I've taken the majority of these boys to U21 tournaments," Pearce said, adding of Campbell: "He's an exciting young talent who I think will thrive by coming into this environment." 

In resting senior players including Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand, former England left-back Pearce explained: "My mentality in picking this squad was, what would I need to learn as a manager going into a major tournament this summer and what would a potential manager looking from afar need to learn."

Goalkeepers: Scott Carson (Bursaspor), Joe Hart (Manchester City FC), Robert Green (West Ham United FC).

Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea FC), Ashley Cole (Chelsea FC), Leighton Baines (Everton FC), Glen Johnson (Liverpool FC), Phil Jones (Manchester United FC), Micah Richards (Manchester City FC), Chris Smalling (Manchester United FC), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur FC).

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City FC), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United FC), Stewart Downing (Liverpool FC), Adam Johnson (Manchester City FC), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC), James Milner (Manchester City FC), Scott Parker (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Ashley Young (Manchester United FC), Theo Walcott (Arsenal FC).

Forwards: Darren Bent (Aston Villa FC), Fraizer Campbell (Sunderland AFC), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea FC), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United FC), Daniel Welbeck (Manchester United FC).

*Kyle Walker, Darren Bent, Tom Cleverly and Wayne Rooney have all withdrawn.