Tom Heaton reveals phone call from Gareth Southgate that saw Man Utd goalkeeper join up with England’s Euro 2024 squad


TOM HEATON is shocked to be in Germany’s as England’s training goalkeeper – but is ready to push Gareth Southgate’s three stoppers all the way at Euro 2024.

Manchester United’s No 3 keeper last season, Heaton, 38, was part of England’s 2016 Euros squad which saw them dumped out by Iceland.

Tom Heaton has lifted the lid on the phone call he received from Gareth SouthgatePA

GettyEngland’s boss has called the veteran Man Utd goalie up to his training squad for the Euros[/caption]

Heaton hopes to help Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford and Aaron RamsdaleGetty

Heaton has three England caps with two of them under Gareth Southgate. He will work alongside Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson.

Heaton said: “It feels very special. Gareth rang me a couple weeks ago, floated the idea and I jumped at the opportunity.

“To come and be a part of it, at another major championship, is an honour and a privilege. I’m delighted to be here.

“It’s different, but I think it’s just a different challenge for me. I’ve come to support the boys, the goalkeepers, the outfielders, push them in training, try and offer them a different perspective and support in that manner.

“Of course, I’d love to be playing. I’m a football player that wants to play football matches, but it’s not that role. It’s a different role.

“But any opportunity to come and represent your country in some form. As I say, it was an amazing phone call and it didn’t take long for me to say yes.”

Heaton made his debut against Australia in 2016 although he was an unused sub for Roy Hodgson on 16 occasions.

He added: “I sort of predated Gareth, before he was England manager, and then I was there for quite a bit of his first few years, so I’ve seen him all the way through, really.


“He sort of brought everyone in together, so that’s how it’s changed. I think that’s given the lads a little bit of freedom to go and perform.

“I think we’ve seen that over the last few years. We’ve gone close, there’s been some really good performances and there’s a real good feel to the England team at the minute.

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“Of course there’s expectation because we’ve got a good side but you’ve got to embrace that and I think you can see that at the minute.

“We’ve got fantastic players, everyone’s hungry to be in the shirt and, of course, we’re going to try and make it successful.”

Asked about the other keepers, Heaton said: “As for Jordan, his performances have been absolutely outstanding. Aaron, a young goalkeeper, has done exceptionally well over the last few years. Deano the same.

“Obviously, I know them all individually really well, and they all offer something slightly different, so I’m delighted to be working with them. I hope I can support in any way.”

Gareth Southgate will take the handbrake off at Euro 2024… because he has no choice

By Charlie Wyett

GARETH SOUTHGATE will have no choice but to take the handbrake off his England team at Euro 2024.

The defensive crisis gripping the Three Lions means the only option in Germany, within ­reason, will be outright attack.

Southgate has often been lambasted for his safety-first approach — even if he points out you must go back to Walter Winterbottom’s sides in the 1950s to find an England manager with a better scoring record.

But with the crocked Harry Maguire left out, Luke Shaw not fit enough to start the tournament and John Stones having made just 12 ­Premier League starts this season, this is not a defence you would stake your life on.

The last time England went to a major tournament in Germany — the 2006 World Cup — the four centre-backs selected were Sol Campbell (68 caps), Rio Ferdinand (47), Jamie Carragher (25) and John Terry (24).

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This time, when England fly out on Monday, the quartet will be Lewis Dunk (six), Joe Gomez (14), Marc Guehi (ten) and Ezri Konsa (three).

It makes Southgate’s decision not to recall the 49-cap Eric Dier for his ­provisional squad even stranger — especially considering his strong end to the season with Bayern Munich.

The elder statesman in his defence — and the one who absolutely has to stay fit — is 71-cap Stones.

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