Aaron Ramsey and Brennan Johnson will miss Wales’s crucial Euro 2024 qualifier against Croatia through injury, prompting Rob Page to turn to fresh blood and hand Charlie Savage, son of Robbie, a first senior call-up.
Ramsey, the Wales captain who rejoined his boyhood club Cardiff in the summer, has a knee injury and Johnson is not part of the 26-man squad owing to a suspected hamstring problem. Ben Davies will probably lead Wales in Ramsey’s absence.
The 20-year-old Savage joined the League One crisis club Reading after going through the youth ranks at Manchester United. A central midfielder like his dad, Savage has made 10 appearances in the third tier this season, scoring once. His father, Robbie, won 39 caps for Wales, scoring two goals.
Savage, who has represented Wales across the youth age groups, could make his senior debut in a friendly against Gibraltar next Wednesday in Wrexham.
Savage Sr, the former Leicester and Derby player who works as a television pundit for TNT Sports and the BBC, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “So, so proud … hard work, dedication and sacrifices are paying off.”
Wales host the Group D leaders, Croatia, a week on Sunday hoping to keep alive their hopes of qualifying automatically for next summer’s European Championship in Germany. Wales are fourth, behind Armenia, whom they face in November in their penultimate group game, on goal difference.
The Liverpool defender Owen Beck, who is on loan at Dundee United, has also earned a first senior call, while Regan Poole – who joined the League One leaders, Portsmouth, in the summer – has been recalled to the senior squad for the first time since 2019. Beck, a 21-year-old full-back, is the great-nephew of the Liverpool and Wales hero Ian Rush.
Fulham’s teenage forward Luke Harris and the Hibernian midfielder Dylan Levitt also return after missing out on the September camp, when Wales overcame Latvia to register their first win since March to ease pressure on Page.