Follow the author on Twitter: @Attlee
Roy Hodgson has named his provisional 26-man squad for the Euro 2016 Championships in France this summer, and rather unsurprisingly there’s only one Arsenal star in the team (via the BBC).
Jack Wilshere is the only name from Arsenal, with injuries and poor form ruling everyone else out. With everyone fit and firing we could have seen three or four names at least, but as it stands – with three names needing to be dropped before the competition begins – even Wilshere may not make the final cut.
Here’s the squad as it stands:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley).
Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool).
- Dusan Vlahovic urged to complete ‘perfect’ transfer – not Arsenal
- ‘Break club record spend or look elsewhere’ Arsenal told
- Arsenal eye player Lionel Messi claimed to be ‘similar to Xavi’
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Andros Townsend (Newcastle United), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).
Danny Welbeck was almost certain to be included, but injury has ruled him out for the entire tournament. Given his record with England and unique qualities he brings, the former Manchester United man probably would have been a regular starter too. Instead he’ll spend the summer watching from his sofa though, nursing his knee injury and looking to return for Arsenal next season.
With Welbeck out, there were question marks over who would replace him. Injury also pretty much ruled Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out, with the versatile Arsenal star missing a chunk of the end of the season. Theo Walcott also seemed like a potential option, but his lack of game time this season really impacted his chances. He’s therefore been overlooked by Hodgson, with Andros Townsend picked ahead of him.
Kieran Gibbs and Calum Chambers are in similar positions, with a real lack of game time giving them almost no hope of making the squad. They were never really in contention, so few were expecting to see their names on the shortlist.
Arsenal transfer news
It seems unlikely that Wilshere will be one of the three players dropped before the tournament begins, as he’s shown before – with six Man of the Match performances in his last seven England games (via the Metro) – just how key he can be to the England setup. However, if he’s not deemed fully fit by Hodgson then you never know, as there is plenty of competition for his position.