England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce believes Callum McManaman fully deserves to be part of next month’s European Championship in Israel.
The Wigan winger has been named in the 23-man squad for the tournament after excelling at Under-20 level for the national side and the Lancashire club domestically this season.
Pearce told the Football Association’s official website: “I’ve made it my business over the last six weeks to have a real good look at Callum.
“I think he’s finding his confidence now, he’s been nurtured very well by Wigan.
“He’s played so well and the culmination of that was a fantastic game in the FA Cup final. That will give his self-esteem the world of good.
“He came on the international scene a few years ago at Under-20 level and now he’s found form at the right time, just before a major championship.
“I’ve seen fit to take him, even though he’s not played Under-21 football.”
Former England left-back Pearce is confident his charges can go all the way after recent near misses, including a 4-0 final defeat at the 2009 final at the hands of Germany.
He added: “We set out two years ago to win the tournament.
“It’s a four-step process; you have to get out of your group in qualification, you have to win the play-off, get out of the group in the finals, then win the tournament.
“We’ve done two of those, and now we want to go the rest of the way and lift the trophy.”