Former Ireland underage international Keane called up to England squad

The Burnley defender replaces Glen Johnson.

Keane has been rewarded for a fine start to the season.
Keane has been rewarded for a fine start to the season.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

BURNLEY DEFENDER MICHAEL Keane has been called up to the England squad ahead of the World Cup qualifying double header against Malta and Slovenia.

Keane replaces Glen Johnson in Gareth Southgate’s maiden squad as interim boss after the Stoke City defender withdrew through injury.

The 23-year-old, who represented Republic of Ireland at U17 and U19 level but declared for England in May 2012, has impressed during the opening weeks of the Premier League campaign.

Keane started his career at Man United but made just one senior appearance during six years at Old Trafford. Loan spells at Leicester, Derby and Blackburn resulted in a permanent move to Burnley at the start of last year.

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.

England face Malta at Wembley on Saturday before a trip to Slovenia on Tuesday.

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