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New boys in England squad

Stuart Pearce has named five uncapped players in his England Under-21 squad to take on Northern Ireland next week.

Last Updated: 08/11/12 at 15:29 Post Comment

Benik Afobe: Chance to impress for England U21 side

Benik Afobe: Chance to impress for England U21 side

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Bolton's on-loan Arsenal striker Benik Afobe is among the new faces as Pearce begins his preparations for next year's European Championship finals.

Derby midfielder Will Hughes and Leicester defender Liam Moore are joined in a 21-man squad by Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and Chelsea defender Nat Chalobah - currently on loan at Watford.

"This will be an opportunity for a number of younger players to impress and put themselves in contention for a place next summer," said Pearce, who has recalled Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne and Newcastle winger Sammy Ameobi for the Bloomfield Road friendly.

"There are young players within this group who will be able to go again with the U21s for the 2015 campaign, so every chance to play for England will give them experience they will no doubt call upon in the future."

Victory over the Irish would be a sixth straight success - a run of wins last achieved in 1991.

Pearce said: "Hopefully a solid performance will also provide the team with a springboard as we build for Israel."

England U21 squad: Amos, Johnstone, Steele, Chalobah, Clyne, Lees, Moore, Robinson, Smith, Wisdom, Henderson, Hughes, Lowe, McEachran, Powell, Townsend, Afobe, Ameobi, Ince, Wickham, Zaha.

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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