Roy Hodgson, the England manager has announced the provisional England squad of 26 players for this summer’s European Championships in France this morning.
So, 26 names, to be whittled down after the three coming friendlies and the notables to miss out include Theo Walcott, Phil Jagielka, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Leighton Baines and Michael Carrick, but there is no place for Theo Walcott.
Rashford, 18, caps a remarkable breakthrough season in which he has scored seven goals in 16 matches by making the 26 – to be cut down to 23 by 31 May – while Wilshere and Henderson both proved their fitness on the final day on the season. “[Rashford is] one of the contenders, of course,” said Hodgson. “The competition is quite strong, he’ll understand that. He deserves to be selected in this larger squad.
“It will be interesting to see what he can do, it may only be for one week, but I am pleased that he has had such a good end to the season. It’s great to be able to include him. There’s no reason why he can’t knock someone off their perch, but it will be harder than some people might expect.”
England’s 26-member provisional Euro 2016 squad (3 will be stand-in players)
Joe Hart – Manchester City
Fraser Forster – Southampton
Tom Heaton – Burnley
Nathaniel Clyne – Liverpool
Kyle Walker – Tottenham
Danny Rose – Tottenham
Ryan Bertrand – Southampton
Chris Smalling – Manchester United
John Stones – Everton
Gary Cahill – Chelsea
Dele Alli – Tottenham
Ross Barkley – Everton
Fabian Delph – Manchester City
Danny Drinkwater – Leicester City
Eric Dier – Tottenham
Jordan Henderson – Liverpool
James Milner – Liverpool
Adam Lallana – Liverpool
Raheem Sterling – Manchester City
Jack Wilshere – Arsenal
Andros Townsend – Newcastle United
Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
Harry Kane – Tottenham
Jamie Vardy – Leicester City
Marcus Rashford – Manchester United
Daniel Sturridge – Liverpool
Hodgson was in the Emirates Stadium crowd on Sunday to see Wilshere play his first match in almost a year in Arsenal’s 4-0 win against Aston Villa and while it was just a third appearance of the season for the 24-year-old, his form in England’s qualifying campaign has warranted selection.
Walcott meanwhile, missed out on Sunday with a minor hamstring problem and again misses out on a major tournament with Townsend, who last played for England last October, preferred following an upturn in form since his summer move to Newcastle despite the Magpies’ relegation.
Townsend has profited from the sudden knee injury to Danny Welbeck with Hodgson deciding against recalling either Andy Carroll or Jermain Defoe despite both coming into form towards the end of the season. Daniel Sturridge has been selected in attack however, along with Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Wayne Rooney and Rashford, who is yet to make an appearance for the under-21s, with one of those five likely to make way when Hodgson trims his squad to 23 and it will be most likely Rashford.
Hodgson has selected seven defenders but just three centre-backs with Everton’s captain Phil Jagielka omitted with Eric Dier – one of five Tottenham Hotspur players selected – providing cover from midfield where he will join with Manchester City’s Fabian Delph.
Leighton Baines is another to miss out with Ryan Bertrand and Danny Rose selected to fight for the first-choice left-back position while Manchester United’s Michael Carrick is another omitted with Danny Drinkwater benefitting from Leicester City’s title-winning season.
Here is what Roy Hodgson had to say about the omissions:
“Leighton Baines hasn’t played for the last year.
“Michael Carrick as he’s played a part for us these last two years.
“They’re players I respect and admire, but you have to make a decision. I’ve decided we’d rob Peter to pay Paul, in the sense of taking only seven defenders, and unfortunately that’s gone over Phil (Jagielka).
“It was a tough conversation but I’m glad to have spoken to him.”
“I didn’t want to name people in a preparation squad who were unfit. I was pleased to see Jordan Henderson come back.
“Whether they played enough games is another matter (Wilshere). To be honest, there’s quite a few players I would have liked to have less games.
“I was pleased to see Jordan (Henderson) back, and Jack’s been back for the last two.
“I would like to tell the final 23 they are in the squad after the Australia game.”
On Welbeck injury he said: “The type of player he is, the options he gives us, we will miss him and I feel very sorry for him. He worked incredibly hard to get back fit and we will miss him”