Peterborough United central defender Ryan Bennett has received a first call-up to the England Under 21 squad.
Bennett has been included in Stuart Pearce’s party for two European Championship qualifiers away to Iceland and Norway on October 6 and October 10 respectively.
Pearce said: “I’ve have watched Ryan twice recently in games against Burnley and West Ham. He did very well in both matches when playing above his years.His performances are worthy of a call-up.”
Bennett has been rewarded for a hugely impressive run of form in the opening weeks of the Championship season and clearly caught the eye of Pearce who personally checked on him in two recent matches.
The 21 year-old was first linked with a shock call-up after Pearce watched a recent victory over Burnley and the England chief was again present for Posh’s unfortunate loss at West Ham last Saturday.
Bennett said: “It is still a huge surprise to me. There are some excellent players in the squad - people like Phil Jones who is in the Manchester United starting line-up.
“To be in and amongst players of that class is a great honour.
“It will be a good experience just to train with those players and it is something that can only help me improve.”
Posh record signing Bennett will join up with the England Under 21 squad following Posh’s clash against Doncaster Rovers in the Championship on Saturday.
He follows in the footsteps of team-mate Joe Lewis who was the last Posh player to be called into an England Under 21 squad.
And Posh chief Darren Ferguson also insists Bennett’s inclusion in the England squad is richly deserved.
Ferguson signed Bennett from Grimsby Town back in 2009 in the final weeks of his first spell as manager here.
He said: “Ryan is a great lad who is now realising the potential we always knew he had.
“He has matured and kicked on from last season. He has been assured in most of his performances and full credit to Stuart Pearce for picking someone from Peterborough.
“I felt sure Ryan would be selected after playing so well in front of Stuart against Burnley and then at West Ham he kept international strikers quiet.”
England Under 21 squad
Goalkeepers: Ben Amos (Manchester United), Jack Butland (Cheltenham Town - on loan from Birmingham), Declan Rudd (Norwich City)
Defenders: Nathan Baker (Aston Villa), Joe Bennett (Middlesbrough), Ryan Bennett (Posh), Matthew Briggs (Fulham), Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Martin Kelly (Liverpool), Adam Smith (MK Dons - on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Gary Gardner (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Henri Lansbury (West Ham United - on loan from Arsenal), Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers), Josh McEachran (Chelsea), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Jack Rodwell (Everton), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool)
Forwards: Nathan Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Marvin Sordell (Watford), Martyn Waghorn (Hull City - on loan from Leicester City), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United), Connor Wickham (Sunderland)