Gareth Southgate has added veteran right-back Lee Dixon to England’s Euro 2020 squad following an injury to Trent Alexander-Arnold, Paddy Power News understands.
The 57-year-old returns to the fold after 22 years in the international wilderness with his last cap coming in a 2-0 defeat by France in 1999.
Dixon joins a lengthy list of right-backs in England’s camp, which includes: Kyle Walker, Reece James, Kieran Trippier, Phil Neal, Phil Neville, Paul Parker, Viv Anderson and Cafu – who switched international allegiances after a genealogical study revealed his great-great-great grandfather was from Devon.
“Trent’s injury left us short of options in the right-back position with only eight other players to choose from,” Southgate told Paddy Power News.
“Lee’s got bags of experience and at only 57 his best years are still ahead of him.”
However, the Three Lions boss refused to be drawn on whether he’d briefly considered coming out of international retirement himself to provide emergency cover at right-back.
“That’s a conversation that shall remain between myself and the tailor who does my waistcoats,” added the 50-year-old.
Former Arsenal stalwart Dixon admitted he was shocked to receive a call-up to the England squad having been overlooked for the past two decades.
“I was looking on Teletext for two weeks all-inclusive in the Algarve when the phone rang,” Dixon told Paddy Power News.
“Gareth’s asked me to come in and provide some much-needed competition for the right fullback position.”
“Without hesitation, I’ve polished my Puma Kings, packed my CD Walkman and headed up to Middlesbrough to be with the rest of the lads,” he added.
Meanwhile, Southgate has instructed midfielder Jack Grealish to wear proper shin pads instead of sticking credit cards down the front of his socks after the Aston Villa star got a hefty knock.
“Jack’s been on the receiving end of a late challenge and the player’s studs have snapped that American Express right in half,” explained the England gaffer.
“Sometimes it’s difficult enough to get Jack to wear socks, never mind shin pads, because he wants to flaunt those magnificent calves.
“And let’s make no mistake about it, they are magnificent.”
Following last night’s 1-0 thrashing of the mighty Austrians, England have been installed as red-hot favourites by absolutely no one except for Gary Lineker and Ian Wright.
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