Pickford ‘honoured’ by England call

Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford says he is “honoured” to have been called up to the England squad for the first time.

Sunderland: Pickford 'honoured' by England callSunderland: Pickford 'honoured' by England call

Pickford began the season as understudy to Vito Mannone but is now first-choice at the Stadium of Light after the Italian suffered an arm injury in training.

The 22-year-old has represented England at various youth levels and has now been given his first senior call-up after being drafted into the squad to face Slovenia in Tuesday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Pickford, who had been due to link up with the Under-21s for their Euro qualifier against Bulgaria, replaces Tom Heaton in Gareth Southgate’s party after the Burnley stopper picked up a minor injury.

The Sunderland star revealed his delight on Twitter, tweeting: “Honoured to be called up to the @England senior team for the first time! Really excited for the journey ahead, can’t wait to get started.”

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