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Burnley’s Keane replaces injured Johnson in England squad

London (AFP) – Burnley defender Michael Keane earned his first England call-up on Tuesday after Stoke’s Glen Johnson was ruled out through injury.

Johnson’s absence due to an unspecified injury means Keane is rewarded for a fine start to the season and he will meet up with the rest of the England squad ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia.

England interim manager Gareth Southgate knows Keane well from his time as coach of the national under-21 team and took the centre-back to last year’s European Championships in the Czech Republic.

The 23-year-old’s inclusion comes as a result of a setback for former Liverpool right-back Johnson, who was a surprise inclusion in Southgate’s 23-man squad having not featured for his country since the 2014 World Cup.

Johnson is the second England star to be sidelined by injury before the qualifiers after Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling’s calf complaint saw him replaced by Andros Townsend on Monday.

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