Zaha gets England call as Rooney heads withdrawals
LONDON (AFP) –
Crystal Palace youngster Wilfried Zaha was handed a shock England call-up on Sunday, after Wayne Rooney and four other players pulled out of the squad for the friendly game in Sweden.
Zaha has been capped five times at under-21 level and with several Premier League clubs believed to be tracking his progress, England coach Roy Hodgson decided to bring him into his revised squad for Wednesday’s game in Stockholm.
The 20-year-old forward reacted to his call-up on Twitter, writing: “Wow, everything’s happening so fast.”
Hodgson also awarded a place in the squad to Carl Jenkinson, even though the Football Association are still awaiting official clearance from FIFA to select the Arsenal full-back, who has represented Finland at youth level.
“It is expected that the paperwork will be completed and sent through to The FA on Monday, meaning Jenkinson will be available for the match with Sweden on Wednesday night,” said the FA on the organisation’s website.
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tom Huddlestone joined the squad as well, with Rooney, Spurs pair Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon, Arsenal winger Theo Walcott and Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey all withdrawing due to injury.
Rooney picked up an injury in Manchester United‘s 3-2 win at Aston Villa on Saturday, while Walcott was hurt in his side’s 3-3 draw against Fulham and Shelvey sat out Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Sunday.
The FA also revealed that Hodgson wanted to call up Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe and Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but was told by their respective clubs that they were not fully fit.