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Jones gets first England call

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28 Aug 2011 21:31:21

Jones gets first England call

Manchester United defender Phil Jones has received his first call-up to the England senior squad ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifiers with Bulgaria and Wales.

The 19-year-old, who starred in Sunday's 8-2 annihilation of Arsenal at Old Trafford, was part of Fabio Capello's provisional squad for the friendly with Holland that was postponed earlier this month, but did not make the final cut.

However, along with fellow Red Devils youngsters Chris Smalling and Tom Cleverley, Jones has made it this time, helped by the absence of Rio Ferdinand, who has not played since injuring his hamstring at West Brom a fortnight ago.

Jones is part of a five-strong United presence, which would almost certainly have been bigger still had Danny Welbeck not been ruled out by a hamstring injury he suffered after opening the scoring in Sunday afternoon's game.

The teenager has caught the eye since moving to Old Trafford from Blackburn, where old boss Sam Allardyce once described him as the best young player he had ever worked with.

Yet Smalling, who was a non-playing member of Capello's squad for the November friendly defeat by France and Cleverley, who was called up for the Holland game following the withdrawal of Jack Wilshere and Michael Carrick through injury, have been only marginally less impressive.

Club-mates Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young, who contributed five of United's staggering tally of goals on Sunday afternoon, were always likely to be selected.

Indeed, Manchester's growing position as the powerbase of English football is emphasised by the addition of six member of the Manchester City squad that crushed Tottenham in equally emphatic style at White Hart Lane.

In total, there are six changes from the Holland game, with Darren Bent and Jermain Defoe recalled, plus Arsenal's Theo Walcott, who was critical of Capello's management style in his recently-published autobiography.

Amongst those who miss out are Peter Crouch, who is set to join Stoke this week, and Kyle Walker, who has been overtaken by Smalling for the right-back role.


PA

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