Emile Heskey has earned an England recall seven years after his last international cap.
Gareth Southgate’s hand was forced after six England players pulled out his latest squad, leaving the 47-year-old short on numbers.
Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Fabian Delph all withdrew from the squad.
Heskey’s last appearance in an England shirt came during a woeful 2010 World Cup campaign.
But the England management staff were reportedly impressed with his performances at the recent Star Sixes tournament.
Lee Satchell, an unofficial England source, said: “Southgate’s hands were tied.
“As soon as Kane and Sterling pulled out Southgate knew he needed a bit of attacking bite.
“But he was looking around and he couldn’t see anyone he fancied.
“Troy Deeney was busy doing MMA training, Daniel Sturridge was perfecting his dancing and Danny Welbeck, well, he’s Danny Welbeck.
“So he called up Emile instead.
“We know he hasn’t been playing too much, but he’s been keeping fit with the odd game of 5-a-side.
“Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels have never played against Heskey, so there’ll be a bit of shock factor there as well.
“It makes perfect sense when you think about it.”
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