Sammy Ameobi

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

After an absence of almost a year, Sammy Ameobi is back in the England under-21 squad for next week's friendly against Northern Ireland.

Stuart Pearce's side qualified for next year's European Championships following their two-legged victory over Serbia last month and now the ex-Newcastle left-back is giving players the opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the squad.

And Ameobi - who has won two caps previously - has been named in the 21-man party for the match at Blackpool's Bloomfield Road on Tuesday, 13th November (kick-off 7.30pm).

The 20-year-old received the news hours before United's Europa League Group D clash against Club Brugge, where he will start alongside his older brother Shola for the first time.

In November 2011, he made his England debut as a substitute in a 5-0 win over Iceland before starting against Belgium four days later, but suffered an injury in a Reserve game against Wigan last January which ruled him out for the rest of the campaign.

However, he has been hugely impressive since returning to action in recent weeks and last month told "I'm trying to get back into the first-team so I can get back into the England set-up.

"That's the next step. Hopefully I'll be able to show what I'm made of and get back into that team as well, not just Newcastle's."