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Keane replaces injured Johnson in England squad
October 4, 2016 / 9:11 AM / a year ago

Keane replaces injured Johnson in England squad

(Reuters) - Burnley defender Michael Keane has been given his first England call-up for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia after Glen Johnson withdrew through injury, the Football Association (FA) said on Tuesday.

Britain Football Soccer - Burnley v Watford - Premier League - Turf Moor - 26/9/16 Burnley's Michael Keane celebrates scoring their second goal with George Boyd Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff Livepic

Keane, who has featured in all seven Premier League games for the promoted club this season, has made 16 appearances for England’s under-21 side under caretaker manager Gareth Southgate.

“Michael Keane has been handed his first international call-up after Glen Johnson withdrew from the England squad through injury,” the FA said in a statement on its website (www.thefa.com).

Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling was earlier forced to withdraw with an injury and was replaced by Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend.

Keane last week said a national call-up would be the pinnacle of his career.

“Now I‘m in the Premier League I think England has 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,” the 23-year-old told Burnley’s matchday magazine.

England host Malta at Wembley Stadium on Saturday before travelling to take on Slovenia three days later.

England pipped Slovakia 1-0 in their opening Group F game last month. The group also includes Scotland and Lithuania.

Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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