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Man United veteran joins England's Euro 2024 squad as 'training' player

Man United veteran joins England's Euro 2024 squad as 'training' player
© Reuters
Manchester United goalkeeper Tom Heaton joins England's Euro 2024 squad as a "training" player, the Three Lions confirm.

England boss Gareth Southgate has called up a Manchester United veteran to his Euro 2024 squad as a "training" player while his side go for glory in Germany.

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton won three caps for the Three Lions during the prime of his career, making his debut as a late substitute in a friendly victory over Australia in 2016.

The 38-year-old was subsequently an unused substitute throughout Euro 2016 under Roy Hodgson, before also featuring in friendly contests with Spain and France in the early stages of Southgate's reign.

However, Heaton has not played for the Three Lions since that 3-2 loss to Les Bleus in June 2017, being ruled out of the 2018 World Cup with a calf injury and earning his most recent call-up in September 2019.

The ex-Burnley man is now third-choice at Manchester United behind Andre Onana and Altay Bayindir, failing to make a single appearance last season, and his contract expires at the end of the month, although he is said to be open to an extension.

Nevertheless, Heaton is now confirmed to be joining up with Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson and the rest of England's Euro 2024 squad in Germany, acting as a training partner for the goalkeeping trio.

Southgate "grateful" to Man United as Heaton joins Euros squad

England boss Southgate believes that Heaton will play an "invaluable" role in helping his fellow shot-stoppers, telling "I am really pleased Tom has agreed to join us in Germany.

"Experience tells us that a tournament can put a lot of demand on our goalkeeping group led by Martyn Margetson. Tom will play an invaluable role on the training pitch supporting Jordan, Aaron and Dean.

"Off the field as someone we all know well, he will add to the positive environment we are always looking to create. We are grateful to Manchester United for their support in making this happen."

The Man United veteran also reacted to the news on X - formerly known as Twitter - adding: "Incredibly honoured to be asked by Gareth to join the squad.

"To get the call to go to a major tournament, to help in anyway I can and pass on my experience is a proud moment. We have a great squad, I'm excited and can't wait to join the group."

England open their Euro 2024 campaign in Group C against Serbia on Sunday evening at the Veltins-Arena, prior to which Germany and Scotland get the tournament underway on Friday night.

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General view of the European Championship trophy ahead of Euro 2024 on April 24, 2024
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Euro 2024 fixtures header
Sunday, June 16
Monday, June 17
Tuesday, June 18
Wednesday, June 19
Thursday, June 20
Group Stage
Friday, June 21
Saturday, June 22
Sunday, June 23
Monday, June 24
Tuesday, June 25
Wednesday, June 26
Saturday, June 29
Sunday, June 30
Monday, July 1
Tuesday, July 2
Friday, July 5
Saturday, July 6
Tuesday, July 9
Wednesday, July 10
Sunday, July 14
Tables header RHS

Group A

1 Germany Germany11003
2 Switzerland Switzerland11003
3 Hungary Hungary10010
4 Scotland flag Scotland10010

Group B

1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania10010
4 Croatia Croatia10010

Group C

1 Denmark Denmark00000
2 England flag England00000
3 Serbia Serbia00000
4 Slovenia Slovenia00000

Group D

1 Austria Austria00000
2 France France00000
3 Netherlands Netherlands00000
4 Poland Poland00000

Group E

1 Belgium Belgium00000
2 Romania Romania00000
3 Slovakia Slovakia00000
4 Ukraine Ukraine00000

Group F

1 Czech Republic Czech Republic00000
2 Georgia Georgia00000
3 Portugal Portugal00000
4 Turkey Turkey00000

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