Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson earns first England call-up

Ben Gibson has earned a first international call-up (Photo: PA)
Ben Gibson has earned a first international call-up (Photo: PA)
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Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson has received his first call-up to the England squad as a replacement for the injured Chris Smalling.

The 24-year-old will join up with Gareth Southgate's squad for Sunday's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley.

Southgate was already facing a defensive headache with Gary Cahill, the skipper in Wednesday's 1-0 defeat in Germany, suspended and Phil Jones out with a toe injury.

Smalling, who started against Germany, has added to the injury list after withdrawing from the squad on Friday.

Southgate had not been planning to call up any reinforcements for Sunday despite the absence of Cahill and Jones, but Smalling's setback has forced his hand.

"We'll just assess over the next 24 hours if we have picked up any other knocks," the England boss said in Dortmund.

"I am not aware of anything signifcant at the moment so if that is the case we wouldn't."

Gibson was a regular for the England Under-21s during Southgate's reign and has been linked with a variety of clubs having impressed during Boro's stuttering Premier League campaign.

The defender spent a loan spell at York City in 2012 helping the club win the FA Trophy and promotion to the Football League.

England trained in Hertfordshire on Friday and Gibson will take part in Saturday's session at Tottenham's training base, where Southgate will speak to the media.