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England hand Tom Heaton unexpected Euro 2024 call-up

Tom Heaton has got an unexpected call-up to join England’s Euro 2024 squad – as a training goalkeeper.

The veteran, who has been Manchester United’s third-choice goalkeeper this season, will work with the trio of Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson for the tournament in Germany.

Heaton, 38, has only made three first-team appearances in the last four seasons but has three England caps and was a member of the squads for Euro 2016 and the 2019 Nations League. The former Burnley captain is regarded at Old Trafford as a good influence and England believe he will have the same effect.

Manager Gareth Southgate said: “I am really pleased Tom has agreed to join us in Germany. Experience tells us that a tournament can put a lot of demand on our goalkeeping group led by Martyn Margetson. Tom will play an invaluable role on the training pitch supporting Jordan, Aaron and Dean.

Heaton is a back-up option at Manchester United
Heaton is a back-up option at Manchester United (Getty Images)

“Off the field as someone we all know well, he will add to the positive environment we are always looking to create. We are grateful to Manchester United for their support in making this happen.”

Heaton said he was “incredibly honoured” to join the squad.

“To get the call to go to a major tournament, to help in anyway I can and pass on my experience is a proud moment,” he said on Twitter/X.

“We have a great squad, I’m excited and can’t wait to join the group.”

Heaton’s contract with United expired at the end of last season. He is in talks with them about a new deal.

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