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Mar 29, 2011

Welbeck called up to England squad

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck has been called up to the England squad to face Ghana on Tuesday night.

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Welbeck, who is on loan at Sunderland this season and has scored six times in 22 Premier League games, has been told he will be recalled by Sir Alex Ferguson to play a part for United next year.

But now he will get the chance to shine for his country after Aaron Lennon was released back to Tottenham as a precaution after he experienced discomfort in his hamstring at the end of Monday's training session.

Welbeck made a goalscoring appearance for the England Under-21 side in their crushing win over Denmark on Thursday but was one of the players released back to his club by coach Stuart Pearce. Now, having snubbed the chance to play for the full Ghana side, he is set to take on the Black Stars.

"My mum and dad are from Ghana so I am eligible to play for both countries,'' Welbeck told Ghanasoccernet this weekend. ''I spoke briefly to a guy from the Ghana FA when he came to a Sunderland game to watch John Mensah, Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari but that's all it is.

"The other lads have been going on about it but I'm very proud to wear the England shirt."

Welbeck picked up a hamstring injury against Aston Villa in January, and has underwent knee cartilage surgery that saw him miss two months of the season before returning for the defeat against Liverpool.

"It was unfortunate that I should do my hamstring at Aston Villa and then find that the knee really required surgery because I was in great form at the time and really enjoying my time," he said. "Things had just clicked for me and I was scoring goals and felt I was playing well, so the injury couldn't really have come at a worse time.

"But at the moment I'm getting fitter and shaper by the day and the good thing was that at least I wasn't out for too long and had to start all over again. It's great to be back and I want to have as much impact as I can now in the months ahead, both for Sunderland and for England.''

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce also expressed his delight at Welbeck's elevation to the full England squad.

''It's great news for Sunderland and for the boy, who really deserves the accolade,'' he said. ''When we brought him here, we knew he had that little bit of class, and he's shown that on numerous occasions playing for us in the Premier League this season.

''It's testament to what he's achieved while being here that he not only has played for the Under-21s regularly this season, but now will get the chance to meet up with the England squad, which is valuable experience in itself, but also possibly getting a run-out at Wembley will be a great opportunity for the kid to show what he's all about.''

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