Sunderland captain Dean Whitehead says new England U21 cap Grant Leadbitter is capable of breaking into the senior team.

Whitehead told the Sunday Sun: "Grant thoroughly deserved his Under-21 call-up - I think he deserved to be called up before now, but that's a matter for the people who pick the side.

"Hopefully he will go on to make more and it would be great if he one day got into the full England side.

"I've watched Grant in action while I've been out and been really impressed.

"He's played very well this season and is an important part of the team."