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Many have questioned Roy Hodgson’s decision to name Jack Wilshere in his provisional 26-man England squad ahead of the Euro 2016 Championships this summer, but the manager himself claims it was an easy decision to pick the Arsenal star, as reported by The Guardian.
Wilshere has barely played all season, with his first start coming against Aston Villa on the last day of the season. You can understand therefore, why some may have reservations about his inclusion in the squad. He’s arguably the most talented midfielder at England’s disposal though, and Hodgson is confident that he’s fully fit.
“I had to ask myself certain questions,” Hodgson said.
“Number one, is he actually fit now? Yes, he is fit.
Is he the type of player who brings something different? Yes, he does.
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At top-level competition, in the qualifiers, has he performed? Has he done the job for us? Has he been a very good player? Three man-of-the-matches in a row would answer that one. So, really, to select him in a group of 26 was very easy.
“Would I have liked him to be playing week-in, week-out for Arsenal? Of course. Would I have liked Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane and Eric Dier to have played a few less games and Chris Smalling to have had a bit of a rest? Yes, I would. Jack is there on merit. He is a special player. We don’t have lots and lots of Jack Wilsheres available.”
There’s lot of hate for Wilshere from rival clubs, with his scrappy and in-your-face attitude making him enemy number one for some reason. When fit though, he’s one of the best and most unique midfielders around, and he’s shown again and again that he’s a fantastic addition to the England squad. You’d argue that he’s played a far larger part for England than he has for Arsenal, and Hodgson won’t have a problem with that.
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There’s obviously still a chance that Wilshere could fail to make the the final cut, but with this kind of praise from Hodgson it seems massively unlikely that he’ll be one of the three players dropped before the competition starts. In fact, it seems like he could potentially be a regular starter, with Hodgson clearly a big fan of the 24-year-old.