Roy Hodgson has announced his 26-man training squad that will be in contention to go to the European Championships this summer in France, with teenage forward Marcus Rashford being the biggest surprise on the list.
With Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck being ruled out of the tournament because of a knee injury, the door was opened for another striker to come in, with names such as West Ham’s Andy Carroll and Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe being favourites to take that place. However, it was Manchester United’s teenage sensation Rashford who has been given the nod, much to the nation’s surprise.
Another slight shock was the inclusion of Newcastle’s Andros Townsend, who last featured back in October and has three goals in 10 appearances for the Three Lions. The winger has been selected after an impressive second half of the campaign for the Toon Army, despite it ending in relegation.
Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere are also in the squad, amid doubts over their fitness towards the back end of the season.
Theo Walcott, Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka are amongst the big names who have missed out on a place in the provisional squad, after disappointing seasons for their respective clubs.
Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney are all most likely guaranteed a place in the final 23-man squad, which Hodgson will announce at the end of the month.
England have friendly games coming up this month against Turkey on Sunday, and Australia on May 27, when he will shorten down the squad to his final 23.
26-man Training Squad:
Joe Hart, Fraser Forster, Tom Heaton
Ryan Bertrand, Nathaniel Clyne, Gary Cahill, Danny Rose, Chris Smalling, John Stones, Kyle Walker
Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, Eric Dier, Danny Drinkwater, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Raheem Sterling, Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshere
Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy
Shoot’s Predicted Final 23: Hart, Forster, Heaton, Bertrand, Clyne, Cahill, Rose, Smalling, Stones, Walker, Alli, Barkley, Dier, Townsend, Henderson, Lallana, Milner, Sterling, Wilshere, Kane, Rooney, Sturridge and Vardy.