LONDON (Reuters) - England manager Roy Hodgson called up uncapped Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater on Thursday for this month's friendlies against world champions Germany and Netherlands.
The 26-year-old has been a central figure in Leicester's astonishing Premier League title challenge, helping the leaders forge five points clear of Tottenham Hotspur with eight games remaining.
Euro 2016 finalists England play Germany in Berlin on March 26 and Netherlands at Wembley three days later.
Drinkwater is the only newcomer in a 24-man squad missing some key players through injury and Hodgson said the midfielder had earned his chance.
"What he's done has been evident to everybody. He's had a fantastic season but even last year we were aware of him," the manager told a news conference.
"In that area the competition is quite fierce but I thought it was a good opportunity to see if he can reproduce the quality that he's shown for Leicester."
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Manchester City)
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Tony Jimenez)