England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has selected five Midland youngsters to represent his side in a friendly with the Czech Republic at Bramall Lane next week including four of Wolves’ crop of Championship high fliers.
But there is no call-up for Aston Villa winger James Milner or striker Gabriel Agbonlahor who are rested as Pearce uses Tuesday’s friendly to take a closer look at a couple of fringe players and up and coming stars.
Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, winger Michael Kightly and defensive duo Richard Stearman and Chelsea loan star Michael Mancienne are in the squad alongside Villa’s Craig Gardner.
A spokesman for the Football Association said the manager, with qualification to the European Under-21 Championship finals in Malmo, Sweden next summer ensured, had chosen to rest some of the more experienced players and instead take a look at some of the other youngsters available to him.
That means a call up for Sheffield United defender Kyle Naughton and a possible debut for Leeds United midfield sensation Fabian Delph,
Delph, 18, a 5ft 8in midfielder, is already attracting interest from top Barclays Premier League clubs including Stoke and Aston Villa.
Pearce’s 21-man squad – seven players fewer than he used in his squad which beat Wales over two legs to reach the finals – will meet up 24 hours before the game for training.
Also called up to the young Three Lions squad are Ryan Bertrand and Jack Cork who have been in the squad before but have yet to win their first caps at this level.
The match at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane ground kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday.
England Under 21 squad to face Czech Republic: Goalkeepers: Tom Heaton (Cardiff City – loan from Man United) , Joe Lewis (Peterbrorough). Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Norwich City – loan from Chelsea) , Martin Cranie (Charlton – loan from Portsmouth), Craig Gardner (ASTON VILLA), Michael Mancienne (WOLVES – loan from Chelsea), Kyle Naughton (Sheff United), Nedum Onuoha (Man City), Micah Richards (Man City), Richard Stearman (WOLVES). Midfielders: Jack Cork (Southampton – loan from Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Leeds United), Adam Johnson (Boro), Michael Kightly (WOLVES), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), Fabrice Muamba (Bolton), Jamie O’Hara (Tottenham). Forwards: Fraizer Campbell (Tottenham – loan from Man United), Matt Derbyshire (Blackburn), Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (WOLVES), Adam Lallana (Southampton).