Gareth Southgate has called up Ben Gibson for England


Gareth Southgate has called up Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson to the England squad for the first time as a replacement for the injured Chris Smalling.

The 24-year-old Nunthorpe-born centre-back has played at U17, U18, U20 and U20 for the national side, and now makes his step up to the senior team for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

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While Manchester United’s Smalling has returned to his club with an injury, fellow centre-back Gary Cahill is suspended.

Part of a statement on the Middlesbrough website read: “The Three Lions trained in Hertfordshire on Friday morning having returned to the country the previous evening, following their narrow defeat to Germany.

“Gibson will take part in Saturday’s session at Tottenham Hotspur’s training base as England prepare to take on Lithuania in a 2018 World Cup qualifier at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.”

England head into Sunday’s game unbeaten in qualifying and are top of Group F on 10 points.

Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Scotland and Malta make up the sixth-team group.

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