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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 24, 2011

Welbeck and Jones in Under-21 squad

Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones have been called into the England Under-21 squad for next month's double-header against Azerbaijan and Israel, casting doubt over their involvement in the senior side's matches with Bulgaria and Wales.

Welbeck had been tipped to keep his place in Fabio Capello's party for the European Championship qualifiers, while his new Manchester United team-mate was an outside bet to earn his maiden call-up.

Both were rare success stories from England's dismal Under-21 Championship campaign in Denmark this summer, with Jones ending the tournament as captain.

Welbeck and Jones are two of eight survivors from head coach Stuart Pearce's 22-man squad which failed to reach the European semi-finals.

Pearce has selected a 27-player group, which includes 12 newcomers. Among the new faces are Arsenal's Emmanuel Frimpong, Everton's Ross Barkley and Liverpool's John Flanagan, Jonjo Shelvey and Andre Wisdom.

Retained from the Under-21 Championship squad were Jordan Henderson, Kyle Walker, Henri Lansbury, Jack Rodwell, Nathan Delfouneso and Connor Wickham.

Along with Welbeck and Jones, they remain eligible for the 2013 tournament, which England begin their qualification campaign for against Azerbaijan on September 1 at Watford.

They take on Israel in a friendly at Barnsley four days later.

Pearce, who signed a new two-year contract this summer despite the failure in Denmark, told www.thefa.com: "You've got the likes of Welbeck, who is a still an Under-21 player, around the senior squad, the likes of Henderson mentioned in squads, and Walker.

"There are a lot of players who have gone through the system and that is also what we're trying to achieve, give them as much experience as we humanly can, at all the age groups.

"I'm very pleased that a lot of players are pushing through at both club and country level.''

He added: "Our focus is going to have to be spot on from the offset because we're in a qualifier straight away. We really could be in the driving seat or, alternatively, it could be up in the air. I've got a feeling, looking at the sides in our group, that getting to the finals will be difficult.''

Five of the squad have tasted success previously with the Under-17s, who won last year's European Championship, including Wisdom, Barkley, Wickham, Josh McEachran and Jack Butland.

Goalkeepers: Ben Amos (Manchester United), Jack Butland (Birmingham), Declan Rudd (Norwich)

Defenders: Nathan Baker (Aston Villa), Joe Bennett (Middlesbrough), Matthew Briggs (Fulham), Steven Caulker (Tottenham), Craig Dawson (West Brom), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Martin Kelly (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Dan Gosling (Newcastle), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Emmanuel Frimpong (Arsenal), Henri Lansbury (Arsenal), Josh McEachran (Chelsea), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Jack Rodwell (Everton), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool)

Strikers: Nathan Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Marvin Sordell (Watford), Martyn Waghorn (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United), Connor Wickham (Sunderland)

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