Burnley defender Michael Keane has received his first call-up into the England squad, replacing Glen Johnson.
Stoke City star Johnson, who himself was drafted into the squad to replace Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne, who is also injured, had received his first Three Lions call-up in two years.
But he has withdrawn from the squad to play Malta on Saturday, followed by Slovakia on Tuesday in Trnava, and Keane has been summoned as his replacement.
Keane has played for the country at under-19, under-20 and under-21 levels.
The England squad has been beset by injuries, leaving interim manager Gareth Southgate, replacing the sacked Sam Allardyce, with a selection headache ahead of today’s squad get-together at St George’s Park.
Raheem Sterling’s calf complaint saw him replaced in the squad by Andros Townsend on Monday.
Southgate, former manager of England Under-21s, is looking forward to getting started.
He said: “It’s been a difficult week but I’m looking forward to working with the players. It’s a great honour.
“I was conscious there was good continuity with myself and most of the players I’ve worked with or know.
“Some people are unavailable through injury, like Kane, Butland, we’ve lost Drinkwater, Lallana, Clyne over the weekend, Luke Shaw is not quite fully fit yet – so that’s had a bearing on the squad.”
By Steve Osborne @BlizzardSteve75