Young's England days over
© AFP

Glen Johnson's withdrawal from the England squad to face Brazil has shed light on Luke Young's international status, after the Aston Villa defender told The Football Association (FA) he was no longer available for selection last season.

It is understood Young informed the FA around the time of the Spain friendly in February that he would concentrate on club football, after being on the periphery of the squad and earning seven caps in four years. The 30-year-old right-back was in the original squad for the defeat in Seville, but did not travel after picking up a toe injury.

A slight knock led to Johnson returning to Liverpool for treatment this week, and left England coach Fabio Capello with just Wes Brown as cover at right-back. It is thought an enquiry was made over whether Young was still unavailable, rather than a case of the former Tottenham Hotspur and Charlton Athletic player rejecting a call-up for the trip to face Dunga's men in Qatar.

This season, Young has been coming to terms with the death of his half-brother, Andre. He told AVTV: "I came back in pre-season looking forward to the new campaign.

"I felt I could improve on my performances of the previous season. I had the bit between my teeth - a real determination to succeed. I then picked up niggling thigh injuries that I couldn't get rid of and then obviously the family bereavement which was difficult to get over.

"But I am ready to concentrate on football now and I'm looking forward to playing. In the first few weeks after what happened I didn't really want to do anything. It was really tough early on."