Cleverley gets England call as midfield duo exit

LONDON, Aug 8, 2011 (AFP) - Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley has been called into the England squad for the first time for the friendly international against the Netherlands at Wembley on Wednesday.

Cleverley was included after Jack Wilshere and Michael Carrick both withdrew due to injury.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had previously said Wilshere would not play due to an ankle problem that prevented the 19-year-old midfielder from taking any part in the Gunners' friendly defeat by Benfica on Saturday.

Cleverley's fellow United midfielder Carrick pulled out after featuring in the first half of the Premier League champions' 3-2 win over local rivals and FA Cup holders Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday before going off with an Achilles injury.

Fellow squad member Kyle Walker, who played alongside Cleverley for the England Under-21s, backed Fabio Capello's latest recruit to make a successful transition to senior international football.

"Tom's a great player," Walker told reporters at England's team hotel in Watford, north of London.

"We saw yesterday (in the Community Shield) what he can do on the ball.

"He can deliver a ball, he's very good at crossing and very good at passing."

Meanwhile, Walker said he was still coming to terms with his status as an England player.

"I'm delighted to be here with the likes of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.

"These are the guys I've been watching and it's an honour to be around them.

"I think it's a massive opportunity. Hopefully I can get my start and go from there really.

"It's not really my choice to name the team but I'd like to think I was in contention."

United and England winger Ashley Young also said there was no doubt Cleverley could play at international level, before adding how he hoped his own prospects of representative football had been bolstered by a move to Old Trafford.

"Fingers crossed, it will boost my England chances even more," said Young.

"As long as I'm doing well for Manchester United then fingers crossed I'll be playing for England."

Young set up the first of United's three goals as they came from 2-0 down to beat City.

Reflecting on the match, which gave him his first trophy as a United player, Young said: "It's always a good way to start the season. We wanted to go out and put in a good performance.

"When you get Manchester City and Manchester United, it's never friendly but we showed we're the better side."

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