SUNDERLAND pair Jordan Henderson and Danny Welbeck look set to miss out on a senior England call-up after both were named in the U21 squad.
The duo have been included by U21 boss Stuart Pearce for the trips to Denmark on Thursday, March 24, and Iceland on Monday, March 28, as England prepare for the summer’s European Championships.
It is the second time Henderson has found himself back with the U21s after making his senior bow against France last November.
Similarly, Welbeck had been mentioned as a possible contender to force his way into Fabio Capello’s thoughts prior to two months on the sidelines through injury.
But having only returned to the fold in Sunderland’s last outing at Arsenal, the on-loan Manchester United striker must make do with the U21s.
There is no place among Pearce’s squad for Andy Carroll or Jack Wilshere, suggesting they will be called up by Capello for the European Championship qualifiers against Wales next week.
Pearce has challenged his players to impress in the two friendlies as he starts thinking about those who will head to this summer’s tournament.
“Now’s the time for all of the players to impress in the minds of the coaching staff that they want to be the ones stepping on to the plane,” he said.
“Both of the teams we’ll face will be in the Championships in June so there can be no better warm-up opportunity for us.”
England U21 squad: Fielding (Blackburn), Loach (Watford), Smithies (Huddersfield), McCarthy (Reading), Baker (Aston Villa), Joe Bennett (Middlesbrough), Bertrand (Chelsea), Caulker (Tottenham), Gibbs (Arsenal), Mee (Manchester City), Naughton (Tottenham), Richards (Manchester City), Smalling (Manchester United), Tomkins (West Ham), Walker (Tottenham), Albrighton (Aston Villa), Cork (Chelsea), Cleverley (Manchester United), Davies (Bolton), Henderson (Sunderland), Lansbury (Arsenal), McEachran (Chelsea), Muamba (Bolton), Rodwell (Everton), Rose (Tottenham), Sinclair (Swansea), Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Hooper (Celtic), Sturridge (Chelsea), Welbeck (Sunderland), Wickham (Ipswich).