Carlton Cole drafted into England squad

West Ham United striker Carlton Cole has been called into the England squad after Newcastle’s Andy Carroll picked up an injury during yesterday’s 0-0 draw with Fulham.

Fabio Capello rewarded Carroll’s excellent Premier League form with a first call up to the senior England squad, but the 21-year-old striker suffered a groin injury yesterday which will see him miss the friendly game against France next Wednesday.

With Aston Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor also picking up a knock during his side’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United yesterday afternoon, Cole has been drafted into the England squad despite his poor form this season.

England’s forward options had already been limited by injury with Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe and Darren Bent all unavailable for selection. The withdrawals of Agbonlahor and Carroll left Capello with just Peter Crouch and Cardiff City’s Jay Bothroyd as his striking options.

Cole, who has seven England caps and just one goal in 16 games for West Ham this season, was preferred to Bolton’s Kevin Davies who made his international debut last month against Montenegro.

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