Burnley's Keane replaces injured Johnson in England squad

Oct 05, 2016, 00:04
Burnley's Keane replaces injured Johnson in England squad

England have made an abrupt change to the squad that interim manager Gareth Southgate selected on Sunday night.

"Michael Keane has been handed his first worldwide call-up after Glen Johnson withdrew from the England squad through injury", the FA said in a statement on its website.

Keane has yet to miss an appearance for his club, Burnley in this seasons Premier League campaign.

However, the controversial decision has now been taken out of Southgate's hands, with Johnson withdrawing from the squad to face Malta and Slovenia due to injury.

Keane, a former Manchester United trainee, made 16 appearances for the Under-21s under Gareth Southgate between 2013 and 2016, and now steps up to the senior squad.

That left the door open for Southgate to turn to Keane, with whom he had worked at Under-21 level.

Johnson's initial inclusion was greeted with surprise and bewilderment by fans.

"To be able to bring a player with 50 plus caps into that squad was something we thought long and hard about but we felt it was the right decision". Frankly, who gives a damn?

He has started Stoke's last four matches in league and cup.

But sadly for the Liverpool-born centre-back, a hamstring injury picked up in the recent EFL Cup tie at Southampton scuppered any chance of a call-up this time around.

And who knows, following on from Andros Townsend's call-up yesterday (Monday), maybe there could be more than one Palace player in the next England squad.

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