England have been permitted to make a key change to their squad after UEFA adjusted their rulebook ahead of Euro 2020.
Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was called on by the Three Lions on Tuesday following a hip injury sustained by Manchester United shot-stopper Dean Henderson.
In the build-up to the tournament, UEFA announced a special rule change expanding squads from the regular size of 23 to 26 in a bid to limit the potential impact of a coronavirus outbreak.
European football’s governing body also made provisions regarding goalkeepers, allowing national teams to call up a new ‘keeper at any time in case of injury.
A statement released in May reads: “The new regulations will now also allow goalkeepers to be replaced before each match during the tournament in case of physical incapacity even if one or two goalkeepers from the player list are still available.”
This means Blades No. 1 Ramsdale is able to join up with Gareth Southgate’s side even though first-choice Jordan Pickford and back-up Sam Johnstone are fit and available.
But UEFA also stipulated Henderson will not be able to return to the set-up even if he recovers from his hip injury before the end of England’s involvement at Euro 2020.
“To ensure the integrity of the competition, a player who has been replaced on the player list cannot be readmitted to the list,” the statement added.
Southgate will be relieved to have a third goalkeeper at his disposal even though he is without his two principal back-ups for Pickford.
Burnley No. 1 Nick Pope underwent knee surgery last month which ruled him out of Euro 2020, while Henderson’s injury leaves England with two inexperienced options to support Pickford.
Were you impressed by Jordan Pickford’s performance in England’s 1-0 win over Croatia in their Group D opener? Have your say in the comments.
Johnstone, 28, made his debut in the 1-0 friendly victory over Romania earlier this month, while Ramsdale, 23, is yet to make his senior Three Lions debut.
Southgate named former Bournemouth star Ramsdale in his provisional 33-man squad for the Euros, but he missed out on a spot in the final selection.
But he has been handed a chance to make his mark on the continental stage following the injury sustained by his predecessor at Bramall Lane.
England sent a message to Henderson on Twitter, writing: “Gutted for you, Den Henderson. Wishing you a quick recovery.”
Suspicions first arose over Henderson’s fitness after he missed a training session on Monday. The Englishman made 26 appearances for United this season as he jostled for first-choice status with David de Gea.
In a separate tweet, England wrote: “Welcome back to the Three Lions squad, Aaron Ramsdale.”
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