Gareth Southgate calls up Ben Gibson into England squad for the first time after Chris Smalling ruled out with injury

Jack Pitt-Brooke
The Independent
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Getty Images

Gareth Southgate has called Ben Gibson into the England squad for Sunday's match against Lithuania after Chris Smalling was ruled out with injury.

The 24-year-old centre-back Gibson has enjoyed a good season with Middlesbrough and has been admired by the Football Association for some time.

Sam Allardyce was planning to bring Gibson into the England set-up last autumn before his tenure was cut short after one game.

Southgate has been impressed by Gibson and with Phil Jones and now his Manchester United teammate, Smalling, injured and Gary Cahill suspended for Sunday's World Cup qualifier at Wembley, England are left with just John Stones and Michael Keane as options at centre-back.

Gibson is expected to join up with the England squad on Friday afternoon at their Watford training base at the Grove Hotel.

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