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Pearce happy with balance of England's U21 squad

England U21 coach Stuart Pearce says he is pleased with the balance of his squad for the U21 Championship in Sweden this summer.

Pearce has included Arsenal young-gun Theo Walcott despite pleas from Gunners manager Arsene Wenger to rest him in the off-season and has also given a chance to a handful of younger players.

"We are pleased with the balance of the squad," Pearce told The

"We have three or four players who are extremely versatile and can play in a number of positions.

"We also have a young squad with players such as Fabrice Muamba, Lee Cattermole, Kieran Gibbs, Danny Welbeck and Jack Rodwell all being available for the next campaign, so this experience will be vital for them.

"I have every confidence in this squad, we are really looking forward to competing with the best Under-21 teams in Europe, and hopefully, doing our country proud with our performances. It should be a fantastic tournament."

England Under-21 Squad:

Goalkeepers:Joe Hart (Manchester City), Joe Lewis (Peterborough United), Scott Loach (Watford).

Defenders:Martin Cranie (Portsmouth), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Michael Mancienne (Chelsea), Nedum Onuoha (Manchester City), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Andrew Taylor (Middlesbrough), Steven Taylor (Newcastle United), James Tomkins (West Ham United).

Midfielders:Lee Cattermole (Wigan Athletic), Andrew Driver (Hearts), Craig Gardner (Aston Villa), Adam Johnson (Middlesbrough), James Milner (Aston Villa), Fabrice Muamba (Bolton Wanderers), Mark Noble (West Ham United), Jack Rodwell (Everton).

Forwards:Theo Walcott (Arsenal) Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Frazier Campbell (Tottenham Hotspur - on Loan), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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