Pearce happy to hand Sunderland's Leadbitter first England U21 call

England U21 boss Stuart Pearce was happy to name Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter in his squad for the first time.

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"Grant's played in one or two positions for Sunderland this season and has done very well," Pearce said.

"I went into Sunderland a couple of weeks ago and watched them train, and also saw him play against Manchester City.

"He's playing regularly and getting Premier League experience, and I think he deserves his chance in the squad."

England will face Bulgaria at stadium:mk on November 16 and travel to Portugal the following Tuesday, by which time they could have virtually secured a place in the play-offs to reach the finals in Sweden.

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