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Prank by Saints boss left Redmond surprised by England call-up

The winger knows Gareth Southgate well from his time with the U21 international team.

 Nathan Redmond.
Nathan Redmond.

SOUTHAMPTON’S NATHAN REDMOND was delighted by a surprise first England call-up as he expected a telling-off from prankster manager Claude Puel.

Redmond and Saints team-mate James Ward-Prowse were included in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for matches against Germany and Lithuania, having impressed in extensive U21 international careers under the same coach.

But the pair did not see the news coming when Saints boss Puel mischievously called them into his office on the pretence they were to be reprimanded.

“I found out about it when the manager pulled me and Prowsey in and told us he’s not happy with us,” Redmond told the club’s website. “But then told us we were in the seniors.

“It was a funny way to find out. He was delighted for us, as well as the rest of the first-team coaches. We both left there with big smiles on our faces.”

Amid his glee at the call, Redmond is determined to make the most of his opportunity and ensure he remains part of Southgate’s thinking for the future.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in at the moment,” he continued. “But I’m sure when I pick up my phone and read the messages from friends and family, I’ll start to appreciate the moment a little bit more. I’m absolutely delighted and over the moon.

“I’m just delighted to have been called up and I’ll be going there to work hard and give my all if called upon. It’s only hopefully the start and the first of many.”

England travel to Dortmund for a friendly clash with Germany on 22 March, before returning to Wembley to host Lithuania for a 2018 World Cup qualifier four days later.

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