Fraser Forster called up to the England squad to replace Sam Johnstone ahead of Switzerland, Ivory Coast games
Fraser Forster has been called up to the England squad for the first time since 2017.
Forster takes the place of Sam Johnstone, who initially came into the squad to replace Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale who has a hip injury.
Johnstone missed training on Tuesday before withdrawing from the squad on Wednesday due to illness.
The 34-year-old will join up with Southampton team-mates James Ward-Prowse and Kyle Walker-Peters in Gareth Southgate’s squad that will take on Switzerland on March 26 and Ivory Coast on March 29 at Wembley Stadium.
Forster has not played for England since a friendly against Australia in 2016, but has impressed for Southampton in his 12 appearances since taking the place of injured No. 1 Alex McCarthy on Boxing Day.
With Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Burnley’s Nick Pope also in the squad, it is unlikely Forster will get many – if any – minutes as he will likely be the third-choice goalkeeper.
Walker-Peters and Tyrick Mitchell received their first England call-ups on Monday when Johnstone and Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins – a replacement for the injured Tammy Abraham – were also brought in.
Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka missed England training on Wednesday as he is suffering with an illness.
The 20-year-old has been confined to his hotel room, but tested negative for Covid-19 on arrival at England’s St George’s Park training base on Tuesday.
West Ham’s Declan Rice and Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe were absent from training on Tuesday.
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has been given permission to join the squad late to attend an event in Jamaica with Prince William as part of his efforts to improve social mobility for young people through his Raheem Sterling Foundation.