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World Cup Group D

Jones in England U21 squad

Manchester United defender Phil Jones has been included in the England Under-21 squad for next Tuesday's match with Sweden in Walsall.

Last Updated: 31/01/13 at 15:11 Post Comment

Phil Jones: Selected for England Under-21s

Phil Jones: Selected for England Under-21s

The 20-year-old, who last featured for Stuart Pearce's side at the European Championship Finals in 2011 and was a part of the full England squad for Euro 2012, missed the start of the season with back and knee injuries but returned to first-team action with United in November.

Pearce has called up Southampton's 17-year-old left-back Luke Shaw in his squad for the first time. Shaw has impressed in his 18 appearances for the Saints this season.

Under-21 regulars Jordan Henderson, Jason Lowe and Craig Dawson are also included in the squad

"I'm lucky that I've got Lowe, Dawson and Henderson," Pearce told the FA's website "You could manage for 50 years and not find three more professional and dedicated players than those lads. We're very lucky to have this clutch of players involved with the 21s."

Winger Wilfried Zaha, who recently joined Manchester United before being loaned back to Crystal Palace, and Derby County youngster Will Hughes, who made his Under-21s debut against Northern Ireland in November, are in Pearce's squad.

"Will Hughes is a real talent in the Championship and he's exciting to watch," said Pearce. "We have to make sure he doesn't play too many games as he's still young but he's worthy of his place in that Derby team as he makes them tick."

Pearce believes the next 12 months pose a significant challenge for his players, some of whom he hopes can use the experience of June's Euro 2013 as a springboard to play their way into Roy Hodgson's thinking for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"It has been nearly three months since we were last together as a squad, so we are looking forward to meeting up again at St. George's Park to spend time working on our preparations for what will be an important year.

"For a number of the young players lucky enough to experience the Finals in June it will prove to be an invaluable time in Israel, and perhaps a springboard to Roy's side, with Brazil 2014 on the horizon."

Squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Amos, Rudd, Steele

DEFENDERS: Bennett, Clyne, Dawson, Jones, Lees, Robinson, Shaw, Smith, Wisdom

MIDFIELDERS: Chalobah, Henderson, Hughes, Lansbury, Lowe, McEachran, Shelvey, Sterling

FORWARDS: Afobe, Ince, Wickham, Zaha

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reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

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