Schmeichel earns late Denmark call-up after Sorensen injury

 

Kasper Schmeichel, the Leicester City goalkeeper, has been called up to Denmark's Euro 2012 squad after Stoke City's Thomas Sorensen was forced out by a back injury sustained in Saturday's friendly against Brazil.

Morten Olsen, the Denmark coach, said he could not afford to bring a goalkeeper carrying an injury to the tournament, where his side will face Netherlands, Germany and Portugal in the group stage.

"It's a tough decision, and it's a serious blow for us," Olsen said, adding that the uncapped Schmeichel, 25, whose father, Peter, played a key role when Denmark won the European Championship in 1992, would be adequate back-up for Stephan Andersen and Anders Lindegaard, of Manchester United. "Thomas is a fantastic person and professional to have in the squad and his experience is exactly what we required in a tournament against some of the best teams in the world. [Schmeichel] has worked very seriously on his development, and we have followed him closely at Leicester."

Sorensen has won more than 100 caps for Denmark but merited little more than a marginal role in Stoke's side over the final few months of the Premier League season, playing just three times since the end of February.

He was substituted in the first half of the 3-1 defeat by Brazil and was replaced by Andersen, who is likely to start in Denmark's Group B opener against Netherlands on Saturday week.

Olsen gave his final outfield places to the Groningen striker Niclas Pedersen and 19-year-old defender Jores Okore from new Danish champions FC Nordsjaelland. Premier League representatives include Daniel Agger of Liverpool and the Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner.

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