Walker handed England call-up

BY foxsports • February 6, 2011

Capello has been struggling in the right-back department, with doubts over both Phil Jagielka and Micah Richards, who played in the role against France in November. Nevertheless, Walker's elevation is a shock and comes at the end of a period when the 20-year-old has excelled in loan spells with both QPR and Villa, Harry Redknapp having decided there is no short-term use for the Sheffield-born player at his parent club Tottenham. Walker has appeared for England at Under-19 and Under-21 level, making his debut for the former before he had appeared in a Football League match for his first senior club, Sheffield United. He subsequently joined Tottenham at the start of last season, although he struggled to make an impact at White Hart Lane and it was not until he signed a loan deal with QPR in September that he started to catch the eye. Capello's lack of options at right-back are emphasised by the fact Glen Johnson is favoured to start in that role against the Danes, even though he has spent the last few weeks at left-back for Liverpool after an inconsistent campaign. As usual, Capello had to deal with a late problem, in this case in the form of Rio Ferdinand, who suffered a calf injury during the warm-up before Manchester United's defeat at Wolves this evening which will rule him out for a fortnight. It means Steven Gerrard will inherit the captain's armband, while Michael Dawson, Gary Cahill or Joleon Lescott will partner John Terry in central defence, with Ferdinand missing a 10th game out of the 13 England have played since he inherited the skipper's job from John Terry. As expected, Fulham keeper David Stockdale is also called into the squad for the first time, although his role is very much as back-up to first-choice pair Joe Hart and Ben Foster. Frank Lampard also returns for the first time since August and there is also a call-up for highly-rated West Ham midfielder Scott Parker, who made Capello's provisional World Cup squad but was dumped without playing a minute of the warm-up matches against Mexico or Japan. There is no place for Cardiff's Jay Bothroyd, who made his debut against France, while Jack Wilshere is the only one of the youngsters Capello used in November to survive. Wilshere, who made some ill-advised comments on Twitter after Arsenal's 4-4 draw at Newcastle this afternoon, has been tipped to fill the midfield holding role ahead of Gareth Barry. With Andy Carroll ruled out by a thigh injury, Darren Bent, Peter Crouch, Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe are joined by Gabriel Agbonlahor in the forward department. However, there could be further changes, with seven of Capello's 25-man squad due in action tomorrow, including five in the blockbuster clash between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. England squad: Foster, Hart, Stockdale; Baines, Cahill, A Cole, Dawson, Johnson, Lescott, Terry, Walker; Barry, Downing, Gerrard, Lampard, Milner, Parker, Walcott, Wilshere, Young; Agbonlahor, Bent, Crouch, Defoe, Rooney

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