Moyes backing Rodwell to make major impact at U21 European Championships

29 May 2011 03:24
ShareThere are three reasons why England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce can remain optimistic about next month's European Championship despite the high-profile absences of Jack Wilshere, Micah Richards and Andy Carroll.

The first is Everton's young star-in-waiting Jack Rodwell and the other two are both named Daniel strikers Sturridge and Welbeck, who would have kept Carroll on the bench even if England had not left him out after recent injury problems.

While Arsene Wenger was aghast at the prospect of Wilshere being called up for the tournament in Denmark and potentially playing five games in 15 days, Everton manager David Moyes is delighted Rodwell will be in the England line-up in their first game on June 12 that will feature Manchester United goalkeeper target David de Gea and Barcelona's Sergio Busquets.

Key man: Jack Rodwell will play a huge role for England's U21s this summer

'I think the tournament will be good for Rodwell. I'm all for him going,' said Moyes, who will look to resist any interest from United and Manchester City this summer to prise away his ?20million midfielder.

'People will look at him during the tournament and say we have a real player for the future. He's a central midfielder who can play a bit differently, who can take the ball from the back and start the attacks going.

'I think in time he will develop into a really good defensive midfield player.'

Rodwell has suffered a mixed season despite making 28 appearances, rarely living up to the rave reviews he received when he broke into the team as a teenager.

High praise: Everton boss David Moyes has plenty of faith in Rodwell

But Moyes has little doubt the Southport-born youngster will follow another Everton apprentice Wayne Rooney and go to the very top.

'The Under-21 Championship is just what Jack needs and I'm looking for him to have a big tournament.

'He didn't have an easy route at Everton last season. He had to compete with Mikel Arteta and Marouane Fellaini to get in the side and then when he played, the team weren't playing well, which made it difficult.

'Younger players are going to be up and down. It happened with Wayne as well, the season we sold him [to United], I don't think he actually played that well. When the team are in good form, it's easy for the young boys to go with it. But at times they need the senior players to help them.

'Jack will come again, I saw signs of it towards the end of the season. He's going to be a player.'Pearce will be looking to Rodwell as the team's midfield general to get out of a difficult group of Spain, Ukraine and the Czech Republic.

Their chances of bettering their showing two years ago, when they reached the final but lost it 4-0 to a Mesut Ozil-inspired Germany, were damaged when Wilshere told Pearce he was feeling fatigued and City's Richards withdrew with a hamstring injury.

The absence of Carroll, who has suffered thigh and knee problems this year and was advised to rest by his club, Liverpool, is not being mourned by Pearce, however, who always intended to start with the Sturridge-Welbeck partnership up front.

They have been a big success in qualifying and Pearce feared ?35million Carroll would be a distraction if he was not playing.

Dangerous: Danny Welbeck has blossomed while on loan at Sunderland

Welbeck and Sturridge go into the tournament following successful loan spells.Sturridge, contracted to Chelsea, scored eight goals in 12 games for Bolton after he went to the Reebok in January.

Welbeck's form has been so impressive during a season-long loan at Sunderland from United that their manager Steve Bruce does not think Sir Alex Ferguson will let him out of Old Trafford again next season.

Welbeck also made his full England debut against Ghana at Wembley in March.

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 Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Steve Bruce, David Moyes, Andy Carroll, Jack Wilshere, Wayne Rooney, Stuart Pearce Places: Barcelona, Liverpool, Denmark, Ghana, Spain, Czech Republic, United Kingdom

Source: Daily_Mail