Tottenham’s Mason gets first England call-up, replaces Lallana
Uncapped Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason has been called up to the England squad for the first time.
The Football Association (FA) announced on Monday night that Mason, 23, had been drafted into the national squad for the upcoming games against Lithuania and Italy as Fabian Delph is struggling with illness and Adam Lallana has been ruled out through injury.
Aston Villa midfielder Delph is suffering from a stomach bug and Lallana has pulled out of the double-header after he sustained a groin injury in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday. Lallana was substituted at half-time during Sunday’s game at Anfield and did not meet with the rest of his international team-mates at St George’s Park on Monday afternoon.
Reports had suggested his Liverpool team-mate Daniel Sturridge was struggling with a hip injury, but he joined the squad in Burton and there was no mention of the striker in the statement the FA issued on Monday evening.
"Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Ryan Mason has been drafted into Roy Hodgson’s England squad," the statement read. "The inclusion of the 23-year-old follows the withdrawal of Liverpool’s Adam Lallana through injury. Mason, a regular for Spurs this season, has previously represented the Three Lions at U19 and U20 level."
The statement added: "Lallana wasn’t the only absentee as the senior squad gathered at St. George’s Park on Monday afternoon in preparation for the forthcoming fixtures against Lithuania and Italy. Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph remained at home with a sickness bug but is expected to link up with the team later this week."
Mason was loaned to League One Swindon last season, but he has played 29 times for Spurs this term and has scored two goals. His last appearance in an England shirt came in 2011 when he played for the Under-20s against France.
Mason will train with his England teammates at St. George’s Park on Tuesday. Some members of the squad undertook a training session on Monday afternoon. Danny Rose, Jack Butland and Robert Green were added to the squad on Saturday following the withdrawal of Fraser Forster and Luke Shaw.
England will face Lithuania in front of a 90,000 sell-out crowd on Friday. Four days after the Euro 2016 qualifier, they will travel to Turin for a friendly against Italy.