LONDON: Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has joined the list of withdrawals from Roy Hodgson’s England squad ahead of Wednesday’s friendly with Italy in Bern, with Joleon Lescott being drafted in. The winger reported for duty yesterday morning but, after picking up an ankle injury in his club’s friendly against Cologne in Germany on Sunday, he was immediately released back to Arsenal. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s departure follows Sunday night’s withdrawals of goal-keeper Joe Hart and attacker Daniel Sturridge. The decision to call up Manchester City defender Lescott had already been taken before Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled out. It means Hodgson will now take a squad of just 20 with him to the Swiss capital, with uncapped duo John Ruddy and Jack Butland the only remaining goalkeepers.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2012.