FOOTBALL NEWS

22/03/2013 13:49, Report by Nick Coppack

Keane earns Under-21s call

Reds defender Michael Keane, currently on loan at Leicester City, has been rewarded for a string of fine performances for the Foxes with a first call-up to the England Under-21s squad.

Keane, twin brother of striker William who has played three times for Stuart Pearce’s side, has made 17 appearances and scored three goals for the Championship outfit since arriving on loan in November. That move followed a dream start to the 2012/13 season, in which Keane made his Manchester United debut in the Capital One Cup against Newcastle at Old Trafford.

The international call-up comes just 24 hours after the Leicester Mercury reported Keane’s desire to represent his country at U-21 level.

“That would be a great achievement," he said. "It would be an honour to be picked. It has been one of my ambitions. Coming to Leicester and playing first-team football in a side going for promotion can help me get a call up, which I hope will come sooner rather than later.”

Keane has been granted his wish and is scheduled to join the England U-21s squad on Saturday. He will now hope to feature in the friendly against Austria at Brighton’s Amex Stadium on Monday 25 March.

Stuart Pearce’s side beat Romania 3-0 on Thursday night, thanks in part to a goal by Wilfried Zaha, who joined United in January but was loaned back immediately to Crystal Palace.

Meanwhile, in other England youth news, Nick Powell featured in the U-19s’ 1-0 win over Turkey on Thursday night but missed a late penalty.

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