Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott replaces Liverpool’s Glen Johnson in England squad for Netherlands friendly

The Blues defender has been rewarded for his excellent club form with a chance to impress, with the Reds full-back becoming the fifth player to withdraw for the upcoming clash

Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has been called up to the England squad to face Netherlands in place of Glen Johnson, who has returned to Liverpool.

Johnson is the fifth player to pull out of the squad for their upcoming friendly match at Wembley, joining Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Tom Cleverley, Tottenham’s Kyle Walker and Aston Villa’s Darren Bent on the sidelines.

The former West Ham and Chelsea recently full-back featured in Liverpool’s thrilling League Cup victory over Championship side Cardiff on penalties.

Although his absence is only thought to be precautionary, Johnson could be doubtful for the Reds’ vital Premier League clash against fellow top-four contenders Arsenal at the weekend.

Lescott will be looking to grab the chance to impress caretaker England boss Stuart Pearce with less than four months until the summers European Championships in the Poland and Ukraine.

Pearce revealed on Tuesday he will not publicise his choice of national team captain, or the starting line-up, until the morning of the clash, with Manchester City’s Joe Hart, Liverpool’s Steven Gerarrd and Tottenham Hotspurs’ Scott Parker all thought to be in contention.