— England (@England) May 16, 2016
England manager Roy Hodgson has announced a 26-man squad for their international friendlies against Turkey and Australia. The squad will later be trimmed down to 23 players for Euro 2016.
The 26-man squad is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley).
DEFENDERS: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham).
MIDFIELDERS: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ross Barkley (Everton), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Andros Townsend (Newcastle), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
FORWARDS: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).
The final 23-man squad will be announced on 31st of May, and out of the total 26 players, i.e. three goalkeepers, seven defenders, eleven midfielders and five forwards, 3 players will be excluded from the final tally.
Hodgson had his say about the exclusion process by stating: “I’m making life that little bit harder for myself by having to reduce that to 23. But you never know what will happen in the preparation phase (like injuries, perhaps). Maybe some of these decisions will be made for me.”
As per the UEFA regulations, England will have no choice but to take three goalkeepers to Euro 2016, meaning that Forster, Hart and Heaton will all be heading to France.
Hodgson has further named only 7 defenders in the 26-man shortlist, featuring 4 full backs – Bertrand, Clyne, Rose and Walker, and 3 orthodox center backs in Cahill, Smalling and Stones. However, midfielder Eric Dier can also be played as an emergency centre back if required.
The England manager has named an astonishing 11 midfield players in the list, and will have to exclude at least one if not two midfielders from the final list, with Delph, Henderson and Wilshere being the three most likely ones to get trimmed out due to fitness concerns.
And out of the 5 forwards, captain Rooney, alongside Premier League’s Top 2 goal scorers Kane and Vardy are guaranteed a final list spot, and with Sturridge being fully fit and in fine form lately, United’s young and inexperienced Marcus Rashford could miss out on the trip to France.