Man Utd midfielder Cleverley out of England friendly

Tom Cleverley has been ruled out of England’s midweek friendly against the Republic of Ireland and the weekend’s meeting with Brazil. The Manchester United midfielder is suffering from a calf problem, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Cleverley picked up the injury in United’s final Premier League game of the season against West Bromwich Albion, the newspaper adds, and has been unable to recover in time for the international double-header. England manager Roy Hodgson had already added Jack Rodwell to the squad in case Cleverley was unavailable.

England captain Steven Gerrard is also missing from the squad after shoulder surgery, while Jack Wilshere was left out of the party after fears over putting too much strain on the Arsenal midfielder in his first season back following almost 18 months on the sidelines.

Hodgson is left with only Rodwell, Frank Lampard and Michael Carrick as natural central midfielders, with the likes of James Milner and Phil Jones able to deputise if need be. Rodwell, who suffered with injuries in his first season as a Manchester City player, revealed the late call-up to the squad lifted his spirits ahead of the summer.

Getting the England call-up has capped the season off well and put me in the right frame of mind for next season as well,” Rodwell said.

The manager will pick the team and if I am involved, brilliant, but I am just made up to be there, to be honest. It’s a new chapter for me. This season has been a bit stop-start, but with the new manager coming in, and a summer off, coming back for pre-season will be a fresh start – almost a new career.

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