Wigan Athletic starlet makes welcome return to England international set-up

Wigan Athletic's No.1 Sam Tickle has been recalled to the England Under-21 squad for their upcoming European qualifiers against Serbia and Northern Ireland.
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The 21-year-old was called up for the first time earlier this season, but missed out on selection last month.

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However, a string of impressive performances as Latics have won five of their six matches since the last international break has seen him brought back into the fold.

Sam Tickle is back in the England Under-21 ranks for their upcoming Euro qualifiersSam Tickle is back in the England Under-21 ranks for their upcoming Euro qualifiers
Sam Tickle is back in the England Under-21 ranks for their upcoming Euro qualifiers
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Shaun Maloney believes Tickle's presence in the set-up underlines the 'pathway' that exists from the Latics Academy to the very top.

Tickle only made his senior debut on the final day of last term against Rotherham United.

But after being given the No.1 jersey by Maloney over the summer, he has forced his way into a squad that won the Under-21 Euros over the summer.

“His performances have warranted the England Under-21 call-up,” enthused the Latics boss, after his previous call-up.

"It’s amazing news for him and our Academy.

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“It shows we’re going to give young players a chance, and when they do, anything is possible.

"It’s special and it has been years since we last had someone in the England Under-21s from our club.

"It’s just brilliant news for the Academy and it should give even more motivation to our Academy staff and other players that they can see a real pathway at our club.

"From my point of view, I hope that pathway comes with a lot of wins as well."

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Speaking earlier this summer, Maloney admitted he'd seen in Tickle 'attributes that clubs pay big money for'.

"Sam's been very good since I've been here," he added.

"He's got attributes that clubs pay big money for.

"He's an amazing shot-stopper first and foremost, and he has a brilliant temperament.

"He needs to work on his short passing, but the ability he has with his long kicking is ridiculous.

"He will get caught at times, as all goalkeepers do, but we'll give him all the confidence to play his natural game."

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The news came shortly before Charlie Hughes was informed of his maiden call-up for the England Euro Elite League squad - effectively a mix of Under-19s and Under-20s.

Hughes will be joined in that squad by on-loan Fulham winger Martial Godo, who was added from the standby list on Saturday.

Fellow Academy graduate Baba Adeeko has also been called up by the Republic of Ireland Under-21s for their European qualifiers against Norway and Italy.

On-loan Bayern Munich defender Liam Morrison is again away with the Scotland Under-21s for their European qualifiers against Belgium and Hungary.

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Jordan Jones has been recalled to the Northern Ireland fold - alongside club captain Josh Magennis - for their fixtures against Finland and Denmark.

And Thelo Aasgaard would have been on Norway Under-21 duty also, but for an ankle problem that will probably keep him out for the rest of the year.

Latics’ scheduled League One clash against Wycombe on Saturday, November 18 had already been called off due to international call-ups in the Chairboys’ ranks.

It’s the THIRD time Latics have been forced to postpone a Saturday home game for that reason this season – meaning a huge financial consequence.