Why Sunderland's Anthony Patterson has been selected for England U21s amid Leicester and Wolves links

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Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson has been called up to England’s under-21s squad for the first time.

Despite being 22, the Black Cats stopper is eligible to play for The Young Lions as he was young enough when qualifying began for this summer’s European Championships.

Lee Carsley’s side are preparing for friendly matches against France (Saturday, March 25) and Croatia (Tuesday, March 28) during this month’s international break.

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Patterson has started all 37 league games for Sunderland this season, leading to reported interest from Premier League clubs such as Leicester and Wolves.

Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson. Picture by FRANK REIDSunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson. Picture by FRANK REID
Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson. Picture by FRANK REID

When asked about a potential international call-up for Patterson last month, Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray said: “I’ve been in this job a long time in football management and I have to say the temperament of the goalkeeper we’ve got is just fantastic really, just a big, steady young guy who doesn’t get too uptight about anything.

“His personality is so measured, it’s amazing really and he finds a way to keep that ball out of the net, helps the team with balls into the box. His distribution is improving so there is lots of positives.”

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Sunderland duo Abdoullah Ba and Edouard Michut have also been called up to France’s under-20s squad for three friendly matches this month.

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In terms of senior call-ups, defenders Daniel Ballard and Trai Hume have been named in Northern Ireland's squad for their upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers, while Manchester United loanee Amad has been selected by Ivory Coast for two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Sunderland’s first game after the international break is against Burnley on Friday, March 31, after the Championship fixture was moved forward for TV broadcast.