'Adam Johnson can be our own Ryan Giggs'

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England assistant manager Stuart Pearce believes uncapped Adam Johnson is ready to offer a dribbling threat from the left wing reminiscent of Welsh winger Ryan Giggs.

The 22-year-old has been named in England manager Fabio Capello's 30-man provisional squad for South Africa despite racking up just 16 Premier League appearances since his £7 million move to Manchester City in January.

But Pearce insists that Johnson is ready for the big stage, and can become England's answer to Manchester United legend Giggs.

He told The Daily Mirror: "He is probably a Ryan Giggs of his time. You watch him running at people, jinking in and out.

"I saw some footage of the West Ham game and he was unfortunate not to get a penalty when he went past three players. It reminded me of Ryan Giggs 20 years ago when he first started the game.

"He has something unique about him. Johnno is not the completed article but he is an improving player and that is a fantastic thing to be."

Johnson was a star performer for Pearce as his Under-21 side marched to the Euro 2009 finals last summer in Sweden, picking up a host of FIFA technical awards and ending on 19 caps, and his move to Eastlands from Middlesbrough has polished his skills.

Pearce added: "Johnno was with me last summer at the European Championship, and the two years prior to that, and I know he is a fantastic lad.

"He has hit form at the right time. The move to Manchester City has done him the world of good.

"At the back end of this season Johnson has shown that he has got a maturity in his play. But maybe a year ago in his own mind it was pick the ball up and run directly at opponents, but now I see a more all-round player. I see a more mature player.

"That is maybe down to maturity as an individual, and the coaching he has been getting at Manchester City has helped him as well. I am seeing a more complete player now.

"For what he did for me for two years with the Under-21s and his club form he deserves to be in the 30. It is up to Johnno over the next two weeks to push Fabio in the right direction and make sure he is in the 23."

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