Dejected England players
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has withdrawn from England’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia due to injury, the Football Association announced on Tuesday.
The uncapped 23-year-old, who joined Everton in a £30 million ($38.9 million, 32.3 million euros) deal from Sunderland, has returned to his club for treatment on a muscular injury.
England manager Gareth Southgate has three other goalkeepers at his disposal in Joe Hart, Jack Butland and Tom Heaton, so has not drafted in a replacement.
“Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has left the England camp and returned to Everton,” the FA said in a statement.
“Having reported to St George’s Park (England’s training base) on Sunday evening, the 23-year-old underwent an assessment on a muscle injury sustained playing for his club.
“After discussions between England and Everton medics, it was decided it was in the player’s best interests to return to Finch Farm (Everton’s training ground) for further treatment.”
England, who top their World Cup qualifying group, play Malta in Ta’Qali on Friday before hosting Slovakia at Wembley on Monday.