England news: Fraser Forster called up to replace Sam Johnstone

Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster called up to England squad where he could earn his first cap in SIX years after Sam Johnstone pulls out of Three Lions squad due to illness

  • Fraser Forster has not been capped by England since 2016 friendly with Australia
  • The Southampton keeper was last called up to the squad five years ago
  • The 34-year-old has previously been capped six times under Roy Hodgson
  • Sam Johnstone drops out of the Three Lions squad due to illness 

Fraser Forster has been called up to the England squad, where the 34-year-old could now be in line to play for the the Three Lions for the first time in six years.

The Southampton keeper already has six caps to his name and was last called up in October 2017.

He joins Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope as the other goalkeepers in the group ahead of upcoming friendlies against Switzerland on Saturday and the Ivory Coast on Tuesday, with both games at Wembley Stadium.

Fraser Forster’s Southampton form has earned him a recall to the England team

Sam Johnstone was initially brought into the squad on Monday as a replacement for Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who withdrew with a hip injury. 

But the Baggies stopper missed training on Tuesday, and on Wednesday withdrew from Gareth Southgate’s squad due to illness. 

The 34-year-old Forster has impressed with Southampton this season but won the last of his six England caps in 2016 – taking part in a pre-Euro 2016 friendly win over Australia.

Forster will join Saints team-mates James Ward-Prowse and Kyle Walker-Peters in Southgate’s squad.

Forster has not played for England since a pre-Euro 2016 friendly against Australia (above)

Forster has not played for England since a pre-Euro 2016 friendly against Australia (above)

Forster joins Saints team-mates Kyle Walker-Peters (above) in the squad

James Ward-Prowse is the third Southampton player called up by Gareth Southgate

Forster joins Saints team-mates Kyle Walker-Peters (left) and James Ward-Prowse in the squad

Walker-Peters and Tyrick Mitchell received their first senior England call-ups on Monday, when Ollie Watkins and Johnstone were brought in. 

It marks an incredible turnaround for Forster who had not featured in the Premier League for Saints up until Boxing Day, yet a thigh injury to No 1 Alex McCarthy allowed him to regain his place in the side, start 12 consecutive matches and produce a string of impressive displays.

He has forced his way back into the sticks ahead of fellow backup goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who joined the club back in December. 

Forster would be unlikely to make an appearance against Switzerland or Ivory Coast, with Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope ahead of him in the pecking order.

West Bromwich Albion keeper Sam Johnstone was forced to pull out due to injury

West Bromwich Albion keeper Sam Johnstone was forced to pull out due to injury

Southgate has had to contend with a number of withdrawals from his latest squad, having also seen Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and Tammy Abraham pull out through injury.

Crystal Palace’s Tyrick Mitchell has subsequently earned his first England call-up at any level amid his outstanding form under Patrick Vieira this term, meaning he now joins Eagles team-mates Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi in the squad.

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins was also brought in to replace the injured Abraham.

Declan Rice and Emile Smith Rowe were also absent from England training on Tuesday, while Raheem Sterling has been given permission to join up with the squad late to attend an event in Jamaica with Prince William.