England news: Glen Johnson pulls out of Gareth Southgate's squad with injury

The defender’s departure from the England camp has opened the door to Burnley’s Michael Keane who has earned his first call-up to the senior national side

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Glen Johnson has followed Raheem Sterling in pulling out of Gareth Southgate’s first England squad after picking up an injury.

The defender’s departure from the England camp has opened the door to Burnley’s Michael Keane who has earned his first call-up to the senior national side.

Johnson’s initial inclusion was greeted with surprise and bewilderment by fans. The 32-year-old has not featured in the England set up for two years and made his last appearance for the international side at the 2014 World Cup against Uruguay.

Keane has been subsequently provided with the opportunity to prove himself on the international stage after enjoying an impressive start to the Premier League.

Despite his lack of experience, the 23-year-old is well acquainted with Southgate having made 16 appearances for him at the U21s level between 2013 and 2016.

The Burnley man revealed last week how he had shunned Ireland for a chance at a shot with the Three Lions.

“Now I’m in the Premier League, I think that’s got to be my aim. I want to play at the top level of English football and playing for England is the pinnacle of that," he said.

“So if I can keep playing well and putting good performances in and helping Burnley get results, I don’t see why I can’t get in there. Competition is tough, but if I keep doing well, then I don’t see why not.

glen-johnson-1.jpg
Glen Johnson playing for England at the 2014 World Cup (Getty)

“It’s something that’s always been a dream of mine and hopefully it can happen. In the next few years, I think there’s space for a few centre-halves to break into there and stamp their authority on the team.”

Keane is the second player to be called up by Southgate in two days since the announcement of his first squad on Monday after Andros Townsend replaced injured fellow winger Raheem Sterling.

Crystal Palace’s Townsend has played 11 times for his country, scoring three goals in total, but was overlooked by Roy Hodgson for Euro 2016.

Comments