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The hidden quirk behind Jack Butland snub as Rangers keeper’s SECOND England KO isn’t all it seems



Luckless Jack Butland saw a second door open for an England call-up – only to quickly have it slammed in his face.


But his most recent snub may not be all it seems as he targets a spot at Euro 2024.


The Rangers keeper was widely expected to be in Gareth Southgate’s squad for their March friendlies


after Record Sport revealed he was firmly back on the radar after an impressive season at Ibrox. But despite Sky Sports and others reporting on the day the squad was announced that he HAD made the cut,


Butland was surprisingly left out, with Sam Johnstone picked instead as third choice to Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale.


The ball went back into Butland’s court to play his way into contention for


the Euros but on Sunday it briefly emerged that he could be called upon this month after all. Johnstone pulled out with


injury and is returning to Crystal Palace for treatment and since Butland was so close to making the initial squad, he looked like the natural replacement.


But he has once again been overlooked with Southgate instead turning to Burnley’s James Trafford in a move that raised understandable eyebrows.


Trafford has recently lost his spot in VIncent Kompany’s team, seemingly due to poor form,


but he has been pulled from the U21 squad to link up with the senior team ahead of Tuesday’s game with Belgium.


And therein lies the answer. When it comes to late call-ups, Southgate prefers to pull from the 21s than look for outright senior replacements.


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Just this month he’s done exactly that with Manchester United’s Kobbie Mainoo while Tottenham youngster Alfie Devine spent time with the squad in September.


The latter is certainly a player who would normally be far down the pecking order under normal circumstances.


If Johnstone’s injury keeps him out long-term, Southgate will return to the drawing board in the hunt for a new third choice. And while that may be Trafford,


his inclusion as a late replacement here isn’t necessarily an indication he is the first pick – it’s just that he’s in Southgate’s eyeline.


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