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Six midfielders England could call on to replace Tom Cleverley



Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley.

Tom Cleverley has been ruled out of England’s World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland with a calf injury.

The 24-year-old trained with the rest of Roy Hodgson’s squad on Thursday, but then complained of soreness in his calf, an FA Statement said.

Cleverley had a scan and now returns to his club for treatment. He is set to miss two to three weeks of action, according to the .

Although it’s too late for Hodgson to call anyone up for tonight’s Wembley match with Montenegro, Soccerlens looks at half a dozen candidates that might come in to the squad for the Poland game.

Leon Osman

At 32 years of age, Everton stalwart Osman does not have time on his side. What he does have to his credit, however, is experience and versatility.

Osman can sit as a holding player, operate further forward or even out wide. Hodgson gave him his England debut last November in the defeat to Sweden and picked him again for the San Marino match in March.

Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore

Tom Huddlestone
Let’s just call Hull City tank Huddlestone the crazy hair option. A recall after 11 months out of the international picture is not as ridiculous as it sounds.

Contrary to conventional wisdom that claimed the Tigers would struggle under Steve Bruce, they sit in the top 8. Now 26, Huddlestone is in his prime and could be an effective destroyer.

KC Stadium teammate Jake Livermore might also make a credible candidate to cover for Cleverley. Hodgson brought this Tottenham loanee into the squad last August and gave him his bow off the bench against Italy.

Jonjo Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey.

Good, bad or ugly, Shelvey has been in the thick of Swansea’s mixed start to the season. A clutch of four Premier League sides, including bitter rivals Cardiff, on seven points from as many matches, Michael Laudrup is finding it hard to balance a busy schedule.

Shelvey is playing often because of Europa League football at the Liberty Stadium this term. That presses his claims hard. Swans manager Laudrup has often employed Shelvey in a box-to-box role.

Hodgson could do the same, but Shelvey is raw at international level with just one senior sub appearance to his credit.

Ravel Morrison

Ravel Morrison
Ravel Morrison scoring for West Ham against Tottenham.

“A bit of genius” from this 20-year-old in West Ham’s 3-0 win over Spurs last Sunday got tongues wagging.

Morrison was named in the England Under-21 squad for the first time recently and made his debut in Thursday’s 4-0 victory over San Marino.

Was that sensational strike a sign that Morrison has “sorted himself out”? Hodgson could throw caution to the wind and play this wildcard.

Morrison’s maverick and mercurial talent is certainly being monitored.

Fabian Delph

Something of an outside bet, but Aston Villa’s Delph recently passed 50 Premier League appearances. He is playing regular football now under Paul Lambert.

Delph would add another left-footed option to the Lions’ midfield ranks. Jack Wilshere is the only current player on the roster that favours that side.

Think we’ve missed anyone? Have your say below!