Marcus Rashford named in England squad for Euro 2016

Danny Drinkwater and Andros Townsend both left out of Roy Hodgson’s final 23

Marcus Rashford has been named in England’s squad for Euro 2016. Photograph: Afp

Marcus Rashford has been named in England’s squad for Euro 2016. Photograph: Afp

 

Roy Hodgson has handed both Daniel Sturridge and Marcus Rashford an opportunity to make a mark at the summer’s European Championship after including the strikers among a quintet of forwards in his final 23-man squad for Euro 2016.

The England manager, who had already seen Fabian Delph ruled out with a groin injury, chose to omit Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater and the Newcastle winger Andros Townsend as he trimmed his party ahead of Uefa’s midnight (CET) deadline. The pair were told they had not made the cut in a face to face meeting with Hodgson after training at Watford’s London Colney base on Tuesday morning.

Sturridge’s inclusion comes after he proved he had recovered fully from his latest calf complaint, which had ruled him out of last Friday’s friendly victory over Australia at the Stadium of Light. The Liverpool forward, who has played only 58 minutes for his country since September 2014, worked on his fitness over the weekend and has now completed two sessions with the squad in preparation for Thursday’s final pre-tournament friendly, against Portugal. He will hope to play some part in that game at Wembley.

The inclusion of Rashford is arguably more eye-catching given the 18-year-old was playing U18 academy football at Manchester United only a few months ago. In the period since he has scored on his first-team, Premier League debut and senior England debuts, as well as in his first Manchester derby, with his form persuading Hodgson that he would be an asset in France despite the fact that Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy will start as the team’s first-choice forwards.

While Drinkwater’s omission, despite a fine season as a key member of Leicester City’s Premier League title winners, was anticipated, the decision to cut Townsend from the party was taken despite Gary Neville, the assistant coach, championing the Newcastle player’s cause. Neville had contemplating trying to sign the 24-year-old, then with Tottenham Hotspur, during his stint in charge of Valencia and had pointed to the variety he would offer the squad as a natural wide-player. His form for Newcastle since January had been impressive.

However, Hodgson only recalled Townsend to the set-up when Danny Welbeck was ruled out with a knee injury and had granted the winger only 14 minutes to make a mark in the games against Turkey and Australia this month. By trimming him from the party, the England manager has effectively retained the balance he had always anticipated for his squad with five strikers – plus Raheem Sterling, who can operate centrally if required – eight midfielders and seven defenders. The group departs for Chantilly on Monday ahead of their opening Group B fixture, against Russia in Marseille, on June 11th.

England squad:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Fraser Forster (Southampton).

Defenders: John Stones (Everton), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Danny Rose (Tottenham).

Midfielders: Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), James Milner (Liverpool).

Forwards: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Harry Kane (Tottenham).

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