Gary Cahill called-up to the England squad

Bolton defender Gary Cahill has received an unexpected call-up to the England squad for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan after Rio Ferdinand pulled out of the game due to injury.

The Manchester United centre-back has been carrying a calf injury for a few weeks which almost led to him missing the Champions League final in Rome, but Ferdinand will now miss England's trip to to Almaty and is doubtful for next week's game against Andorra.

Cahill enjoyed an excellent season with Bolton and has been linked with a summer move to a number of bigger clubs including Arsenal, but the 23-year-old admitted that he was as surprised as anyone when he received the call-up.

"I was at home and I got a phone call from the FA saying that they wanted me in the squad," Cahill told Bolton's official website. "I've had to get a few tools together - the boots and the shin pads - and now I am really looking forward to the opportunity."

With Phil Jagielka out injured Cahill joins Matthew Upson and Joleon Lescott in the competition to replace Ferdinand and partner John Terry at the heart of the England defence.

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