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Fulham defender Zat Knight has been called up to the England squad for the forthcoming tour of America after Sven-Goran Eriksson’s squad was decimated by withdrawals.

John Terry and Rio Ferdinand were the latest defenders to drop out with injury so Eriksson has offered Knight, 21, a first call into the national team. Knight, 21, has become a regular at the heart of Fulham’s defence under Chris Coleman.

“Zat is a player I have been aware of for some time,” said Eriksson. “He has all the attributes to be a top defender so it will be interesting to see how he does with us on this tour.

“It’s an opportunity for him to show he has the ability to play at the very highest level so it’s a good chance for him.”

Knight will join up with the England squad in Manchester next Tuesday before the party flies to Chicago. England face the USA in Chicago on Saturday, May 28 and then Colombia in New Jersey on Tuesday, May 31.