Sunday 24 September 2017

Danny Simpson is unimpressed that a former Ireland youth international has been called into England squad ahead of him

Michael Keane has been called into Gareth Southgate's England squad
Michael Keane has been called into Gareth Southgate's England squad

Michael Keane has been handed his first international call-up after Glen Johnson withdrew from the England squad through injury.

Burnley defender Keane – who has played for the country at under-19,  under-20 and under-21 levels and the Republic of Ireland at the under-17 and under-19 grades – will report to St. George’s Park on Tuesday along with the rest of the group.

The 23-year-old is drafted in after Stoke City man Johnson was ruled out of  Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Malta.

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.

The decision recall Johnson had been the subject of ridicule after the announcement of Southgate's first squad on Sunday evening, with many fans questioning why Johnson, who has played no part in the international set up since the failed 2014 World Cup campaign, would be back in the fold.

There had been calls for Keane to be given a chance with England after an impressive start to the season as Burnley made their return to the Premier League.

Keane scored his first goal in top flight football in his side's 2-0 win over Watford last week and then hit Petr Cech's crossbar in the defeat to Arsenal on Sunday when the game was still goalless.

Keane follows Andros Townsend in joining the England set-up late after the Crystal Palace winger replaced the injured Raheem Sterling in the squad.

Meanwhile Leicester full-back Danny Simpson - who had already appeared to express his disappointment at being overlooked for selection - tweeted "Lol" immediately after Tuesday's announcement that Keane would replace Johnson.

The post has since been deleted, but not before being screenshot by Simpson's followers.


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