Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk called up to England squad

Brighton defender Lewis Dunk has been called up to the England squad for the upcoming matches with Spain and Croatia.

Lewis Dunk. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Lewis Dunk. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

It is the first time the 26-year-old, who signed a new five-year contract with the Seagulls on Friday, has been named in a Three Lions squad. He has replaced Burnley defender James Tarkowski in the squad and will join up with England at St George's Park tomorrow.

England travel to Croatia in the UEFA Nations League on Friday and are then away to Spain in the competition on October 15.

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Dunk becomes the first Brighton player to be called up by England since Steve Foster in 1982 - and only the fourth Albion player after Tommy Cook, Peter Ward and Foster.

Albion manager Chris Hughton said: “We are absolutely thrilled for Lewis, he fully deserves this call up. He has shown his quality in the Premier League and his progression has been a steady and consistent one.

“He’s improved with every season, and on the back of an impressive first season in the Premier League he continues to progress; I’m delighted he has now been given recognition at international level.”

Brighton chairman Tony Bloom added: “This is an extremely proud moment for Lewis and his family, and on behalf of everyone at the Albion I would like to congratulate him on the call up.

“It is also a very proud moment for the club. Lewis has been with us since he was a schoolboy and we’ve seen his development at close hand - there are many people who have helped Lewis along the way who will be thrilled for him.

“I’m just about old enough to remember the last time an Albion player was called up to the senior squad, when Steve Foster went to the World Cup. It’s been a long time coming, but Lewis has shown that it’s possible to come through at Brighton and reach the very top.”

Albion chief executive Paul Barber said: “It’s been a good weekend for Lewis: a new contract, man-of-the-match performance and clean sheet on Friday, and now deserved international recognition.

“It’s something he’s worked incredibly hard to achieve and it’s fully deserved because of his on-pitch displays, but we should also take this moment to highlight Lewis’s character he shows off the pitch — he’s become an important member and leader in the dressing room.

“I’d also like to applaud his loyalty to his hometown club. His ability to play at the highest level is something we’ve believed for a while now, but it’s fantastic he’s made that journey with Brighton, and his form and progress over the past 18 months has finally led to international recognition.”