TITUS Bramble insists Jordan Henderson is best served by continuing his development at Sunderland, despite being snubbed by Fabio Capello.
Henderson will not be included in the England squad tonight for Wednesday’s international friendly in Denmark after being relegated to the under-21 set-up.
The East Herrington-born midfielder made his senior bow against France last November but is back with Stuart Pearce’s U21s for Tuesday’s friendly against Italy.
Manchester United and Manchester City continue to be linked with big-money summer moves for Henderson, which would inevitably raise the 20-year-old’s profile.
But Sunderland defender Bramble believes Henderson’s development can mirror Sunderland’s, as Steve Bruce’s men continue their challenge for a Europa League spot.
Despite a below-par display against Chelsea in midweek, Henderson has been a key factor in Sunderland’s progress this season after starting every Premier League outing for the Black Cats.
Bramble told the Echo: “He’s got a fantastic, mature head for a young lad and has great energy.
“He’s got a lot of attributes and he’s going to be a great player for the club.
“It was good to see he got a chance to show what he could do on the world stage before Christmas.
“Of course, there’s going to be teams after him.
“But fingers crossed, if we keep playing how we are now, we can keep hold of him, because the club is moving forward.
“At the moment, I don’t see what he’s got to lose by staying here.”
Henderson’s U21 call-up, coupled with Darren Bent’s defection to Aston Villa, means there will be no Sunderland presence in Capello’s squad in Copenhagen.
Danny Welbeck had been under consideration by the England manager until the on-loan Manchester United striker was ruled out with hamstring and then knee injuries last month.
Bramble could well have crossed Capello’s mind too, with the 29-year-old enjoying an impressive maiden season on Wearside.
The former England U21 defender will not encourage such talk, though, insisting he is simply enjoying playing in a side on the up.
“You can only worry about what you do for your own team,” said stand-in skipper Bramble.
“It’s so easy to play in this team, everyone knows what their jobs are.
“I’m really enjoying my football.”