Football just said:

Jack Butland out of England friendlies with broken finger

England have suffered another injury blow on the eve of their friendly with Germany after goalkeeper Jack Butland pulled out of the squad.

The Football Association announced on Thursday night that the Stoke stopper had broken his finger in training.

An FA statement added: “The goalkeeper has now returned to Stoke City to be assessed by his club’s medical staff.”

Butland’s unfortunate omission continues a trend for England and boss Gareth Southgate, who has lost several players to injury throughout the week.

Tottenham trio Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Harry Winks were joined by the likes of Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and Jordan Henderson on Tuesday.

Such is the list of players unavailable to Southgate he could put together an XI based solely on those receiving treatment.

For Butland personally, this carries unfortunate shades of a previous clash with Germany.

The 24-year-old fractured his ankle during a 2016 meeting with the Germans and missed a year of football as a result. He has returned to form and fitness and it was widely reported he would have started at Wembley.

The FA said Southgate would make no decisions over a replacement until after Friday’s game, leaving Joe Hart and Jordan Pickford as the contenders to face Germany.

Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier will captain England after Southgate handed him the armband.

Dier, who has won 21 caps, becomes the sixth captain of Southgate’s reign and at 23 is the fifth-youngest post-war skipper.

Southgate said on the Football Association’s official website: “Eric is an established player in the side now. He plays with maturity and intelligence. He understands the game really well. He is also a great role model.

“His approach to everything is very professional. He hardly ever misses a game and plays in an unselfish manner. I think he can be even more of a leader than he currently is and I am hoping giving him this reward and responsibility will also bring even more out of him as well.”

Dier’s Tottenham team-mate Kane had the armband in the last game as England won 1-0 in Lithuania.

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