Burnley boss Sean Dyche feels defender Michael Keane is close to earning a regular spot in the England squad.

Burnley defender backed for England call

Burnley defender backed for England call

Keane played a key role in the Clarets' promotion campaign last season and has impressed in the Premier League this term.

The centre-half's form has seen the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool linked with big money moves for the 23-year-old and interim England boss Gareth Southgate called on Keane as a replacement for the injured Glen Johnson for the World Cup qualifiers last weekend.

Southgate has since revealed Keane was close to being named in his initial squad, despite the fact he didn't feature against either Malta or Slovenia.

Dyche says it comes as no surprise to see Keane, who represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level before switching allegiances to the Three Lions, involved in the battle for a regular spot in the England squad given his performances so far this season.

"I't's not really out of the blue, I think it;s deserved, certainly to at least be around it," he told the Lancashire Telegraph.

"It's different if you're talking about starting and straight in the team because he's still young and he’s still learning and he's improving all the time.

"To be in and around the group and get a feel of it then why not? He's holding his own at the moment in the Premier League and there's not many young centre halves playing in the Premier League.

"It gives him different voices, different ways of training and preparing and being part of a quality group of players."