Why Daniel Drinkwater’s omission from England’s Euro 2016 squad was fair

drinkwater england

Why Daniel Drinkwater’s omission from England’s Euro 2016 squad was fair

Leicester City midfielder Daniel Drinkwater was omitted from England’s Euro 2016 squad by manager Roy Hodgson on Tuesday afternoon, and the decision has been met with criticism from supporters and pundits alike. Many believe the 26-year-old had done enough from his outstanding club form to earn a place with the national team, especially considering the fitness risks of a number of players, but did Roy Hodgson have a good reason for his decision?

Drinkwater posted a statement on his Instragram profile: “Disappointed not to make the final 23! Would of been a fantastic experience to go to the euros as a player. But I’ll be supporting the country like I always have! The season’s been a huge positive for me. Going into next season as a premier league champion! Good luck to the lads… Bring it home England.”

Enjoying consistent form at the heart of the midfield in a Leicester side that won the Premier League title, Drinkwater was a shoo-in to make the 23-man squad. However, England have players of a similar ilk in Jordan Henderson and James Milner, both of whom are fully fledged internationals compared to Drinkwater. The form of the Leicester man in friendly under Hodgson left a lot to be desired too, and it seemed clear to the England boss that their expansive playing style wasn’t going to get the best of Drinkwater.

Nevertheless, Hodgson has still undertaken a big gamble on Henderson, given the Liverpool man has only recently recovered from a serious injury. It’s a similar story with Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, but the diminutive playmaker provides a different threat to Drinkwater, so perhaps wouldn’t have been directly picked over the Leicester man this week. Drinkwater will be a loss with what he’s produced in a City shirt over the course of the season, however.

Scoring and creating nine goals in 35 league games, the midfielder made over 100 tackles and more than 50 interceptions. Drinkwater provided the protection in the middle of the park while his midfield partner N’Kolo Kante would put pressure on the opposing side all over the pitch. Another reason why many wanted the former Manchester United man in the squad is due to his relationship with teammate Jamie Vardy. Their pair combined for a host of goals in 2015/16, but in truth Hodgson can give the instruction to another midfielder to pick Vardy out when he’s on the run.

It seems harsh that a Premier League title winner can’t represent his own country in Euro 2016, but there are many logical reasons why Hodgson has overlooked Drinkwater.

REVEALED: England name their 23-man squad for Euro 2016

Roy Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson has revealed his final 23-man squad for this summer’s European Championships. Having initially named 26 players to be in a provisional team – three players being on standy – the Three Lions boss has whittled down the names of who will be on the plane to France for Euro 2016 next month.

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).

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

Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

Manchester City’s energetic midfielder Fabian Delph was ruled out of the Euros with injury days prior to the announcement. He was told by Hodgson that he wouldn’t be making the 23-man squad. Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend is the second of three players omitted, while Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater was the third.

Young Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has made the squad after scoring on his England debut, and will be likely used as an impact player with his excessive pace and knack for finding space in dangerous areas in the final third. There was a debate raging if he would force Sturridge out of the squad, but Hodgson has instead named five strikers.

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley may consider himself extremely fortunate to make the final squad given his poor form in the second-half of last season, but has been deemed useful enough by the England manager to make the cut. Barkley is expected to be an impact player, but will also provide an alternative in the central attacking midfield role. He’s explosive and boasts a fantastic skill set that could make him one to watch if given a chance to impress.

Hodgson is gambling on the fitness of Henderson and Wilshere, with the pair having only recently recovered from injury. Wilshere made just three Premier League appearances for Arsenal in 2015/16 so his selection was unsurprisingly met with scrutiny. Henderson is a key player for Hodgson due to his energy and positional intelligence in midfield. Wilshere is England’s best creator and a favourite of the manager, so the two players will have to work hard to vindicate Hodgson’s faith.

Can Juventus land Barcelona pair?


The news which broke last week came as a shock. Fresh from winning their second consecutive double double thanks to Alvaro Morata’s Coppa Italia winner, Juventus were on the transfer prowl. Their target? Barcelona. Rumoured with a switch to Turin are Dani Alves and Javier Mascherano.

Juventus have already spoken of their collective desire to advance in the Champions League next season. And they have identified the areas required to strengthen to assist that desire.

The club has already spoken about the summer plans. There won’t be a revolution, but an evolution of the squad. They are set to lose Juan Cuadrado, only on loan from Chelsea. A long-time favourite of Antonio Conte, the Colombian is expected to be utilised by the incoming Chelsea boss at Stamford Bridge. That leaves Juve needing a player on the right flank. Meanwhile, Claudio Marchisio’s injury ensures Juve are on the hunt for another central midfielder capable of controlling the play.

In midfield, Roma’s Miralem Pjanic is a target. But there’s a focus on Spain, where Valencia’s Andre Gomes has been linked and the talk surrounding Mascherano – and Alves – has created a stir. Securing the Argentine’s signature is the more complicated deal. Barca are said to want upwards of €20m to budge on a player they aren’t exactly willing to let go, but who may want a move. If Juve were to land Mascherano they would have in their possession one of European football’s most intelligent players and an already formidable midfield would turn up a notch.

Alves is a different scenario. Should he sign before June 5, it can be done on a free transfer thanks to a clause in the 33-year-old’s contract. Juventus have Stephan Lichtsteiner, but without Cuadrado will need another body on the right-hand side. And there’s few better than the Brazilian. He is a vastly experienced player and three-time Champions League winner. What could be hard to match is the x-factor Cuadrado provided, as one of the few in the Juve squad who could create a game-changing moment from very little. Yet Alves has proved himself over a number of years.

Signing one, or both Barcelona players, would be shrewd working from the Bianconeri. A side which has shown it can compete on the continent during the past two seasons, this would help them take the next step.

Juventus would be complementing an already strong squad – littered with younger talents – with experienced heads still capable of competing at the top level. That would only make facing Juve a scarier prospect.

Olivier Giroud not a fan favourite for France heading into Euro 2016


Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud was booed by supporters in France’s 3-2 win over Cameroon on Monday, and national team manager Didier Deschamps leapt to the defence of the under-fire centre-forward by suggesting the fans are treating him unfairly ahead of this summer’s European Championships.

“You hear what you want. The whistles were unfair tonight, but in Biarritz, he was applauded. People can be conditioned. But Olivier scored again. When you say it, you are not helpful. You are free to say what you want but this is not necessarily the truth,” said Deschamps.

French fans have been disappointed with Giroud’s performances of late, but the Gunners striker did score for Les Blues in the Cameroon victory. However, an overall return of 14 goals from 46 games for France isn’t as prolific as expected from a striker.

His performances have been inconsistent too, with the centre-forward often struggling to enforce himself in games. He wouldn’t have been a first-choice in attack for France in this summer’s European Championships, but with Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema not selected for the squad, Giroud should lead the line.

Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann is likely to start as a wide forward, but supporters aren’t happy that Olivier Giroud gets top billing spearheading the attack given he’s scored just five goals in his last 16 games. There were a number of attackers omitted from the squad in place for the Arsenal man, which is also why he continues to get booed.

Hatem Ben Arfa (OGC Nice), Kevin Gameiro (Sevilla), Alexandre Lacazette (Olympique Lyonnais) and Nabil Fekir (Olympique Lyonnais) were some of the recently-capped players to miss out in the squad. Deschamps’ squad selection was met with criticism, but only time will tell if his faith in Giroud will bear fruit.

He came into the France squad this summer after the back of scoring and creating six goals in his last three Premier League games, and has netted for his country recently too, so Giroud isn’t in bad shape now. The 29-year-old does have mobility deficiencies at times as he’s the least agile of the France attack, but he does have his strengths.

Giroud will bring aerial superiority to the France attack, and brings others into play by playing with his back to goal. He lays the ball on for the pacey wide men on the overlap, and is useful to play off when turning defence into attack. He’s scoring goals in the build-up to Euro 2016, so can Giroud confound his critics?

Pogba poised to be France’s Euro 2016 catalyst


If fans looked closely last October they would have noticed a small ‘+5’ scrawled next to Paul Pogba’s No 10 Juventus shirt. Theories were put forth. Pogba was burdened by wearing the prestigious number as the Bianconeri struggled. This was his way of ‘returning’ to his old No 6. Or, it was actually a ‘75’ to honour the birthday of the iconic Pele.

Either way, as Juve’s Scudetto defence got off to a rocky start, Pogba’s performances came in for criticism. Without Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal the look of the Old Lady’s midfield changed. Even more so as Claudio Marchisio and Sami Khedira sat out the opening weeks through injury. The onus was forced on Pogba, who went from talented youngster to midfield leader.

It took time for Pogba to adjust. The return of Marchisio and Khedira helped him settle. In the latter months of a successful 2015-16 campaign, the Frenchman was one of the stars. He ended the Serie A season with eight goals and 12 assists – a League high alongside Miralem Pjanic – in 35 appearances.

Pogba netted four goals and assisted a further seven in his last 10 matches in all competitions. He proved one of Juve’s most decisive players in a season which ended with another domestic double.

With focus shifting to the international game, he dons the Bleus shirt in the right frame of mind. Voted the Best Young Player at Brazil 2014, Pogba can go a step further as France chase another home success. European Champions in 1984 and World Cup winners in 1998 when Pogba was five, France are one of the favourites to lift the Henri Delaunay trophy.

On Monday, Pogba provided a sumptuous assist for Olivier Giroud to volley home in France’s 3-2 triumph against Cameroon. The 23-year-old’s 30th cap for the French national team was highlighted by his jinking feet and inch-perfect cross for the Arsenal man.

Just like in Turin this season, Didier Deschamps will be expecting key contributions from his star midfielder. Pogba can drift in and out of matches. His usual position at Juve on the left of a midfield three ensures he is not always the focal point of a contest. But in the final third Pogba’s creativity and eye for goal is valuable.

Deschamps has been rocked by pre-tournament defensive injuries, including to Raphael Varane and Jeremy Mathieu, putting extra importance on what they do in the final third. The boss will be relying on Pogba. He responded in Turin and can do the same at Euro 2016.

Euro 2016: A Debut European Championship Finals for Five Nations


For the first time in the history of the European Championships, 24 teams will play in this summer’s tournament, following the decision by UEFA’s executive committee to change the qualification format.

Specifically there were nine groups, with the top two placed teams in each and the best third placed side, qualifying automatically for the finals.

Each of the other eight teams who placed third in their qualification group formed four two legged play-offs, with the winners of those ties advancing to the finals.

Subsequently the increased number of finals places available created a greater opportunity for European football’s smaller nations to qualify for the tournament, which some of them took.

To closer specify that, after staging successful qualification campaigns, set to make their debut at a European Championships are Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia & Wales. Despite being novices in terms of playing at the highest level of international football, each of the aforementioned nations have the ability to be competitive at the final. The following previews are aimed at providing an insight of that.


Built upon the principles of discipline, organization and resoluteness, the Albanian side are a combative collective unit, who do not concede many goals.  Specifically their defence was breached just five times in qualification, as they advanced from a group containing Portugal, Denmark & Serbia.  After creating one of the biggest shocks of the entire qualification campaign by beating Portugal 1-0 in Lisbon in their opening game, despite only scoring six more goals, Gianni De Biasi’s side secured enough points to finish runners-up behind the Portuguese.

As an industrious and workmanlike side, Albania’s achievement of qualifying for the finals was built upon a togetherness, spearheaded by their experienced captain Lorik Cana, who plays for Nantes.  Capped 90 times, Cana marshals a well drilled team, whose most technically gifted player is Taulant Xhaka.  The 24-year-old Basle central midfielder, brother of new Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka, dictates play for the Albanians in a confident manner.

Drawn in Group A alongside France, Romania & Switzerland presents a daunting challenge for the Red Eagles but one which manager De Biasi will ensure they are prepared to embrace.


Competing for the first time at a major international tournament in France this summer are Iceland, who are jointly managed by the experienced Lars Lagerback and Heimer Halgrimmson.  Following the finals Halgrimmson will assume sole charge of the team with Lagerback set to retire.

Between 2000 & 2008 the Swede led his home nation to five straight finals and since being appointed manager of Iceland in 2011, has developed an organised, spirited and youthful side, that are not only defensively strong but also a potent attacking force.

The player most instrumental in driving that is Gylfi Sigurdsson.  At 26-years-old, the Swansea playmaker is renowned throughout Europe for his wonderful awareness, creativity and technical ability, which he displayed throughout Iceland’s qualifying campaign.  During that Sigurdsson scored six times, including all three of Iceland’s goals in their two victories against Holland.  Both results were founded upon defensive solidarity and cohesive teamwork, with those qualities also particularly evident during home wins over Turkey and the Czech Republic, to whom Strákarnir okkar (Our boys) finished runners-up.

As a well-balanced team buoyed by their remarkable qualification campaign which sent shockwaves through world football, Iceland have a realistic chance of progressing from Group F, which they will contest with Austria, Hungary & Portugal.

Northern Ireland

Set to participate at a first major international tournament since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico are Northern Ireland.  Brave, hard-working and tenacious, Michael O’Neill’s group of honest players qualified for the finals courtesy of topping a group which included Greece, Hungary & Romania.

Whilst a considered and well-coordinated team effort to deny opponents the opportunity to build meaningful attacks has contributed to Northern Ireland’s recent success under O’Neill, so too has the team’s ability to score goals from set-pieces.  Specifically during qualification, nine of the team’s 16 goals arrived from dead-ball deliveries.

Whether in front of their own passionate and vociferous supporters at Windsor Park, or away from home, by playing with a togetherness and deep understanding of one another’s strengths, O’Neill’s side have embarked upon an 11 match unbeaten run.  That and their qualification for the finals is a remarkable achievement, even more so given that O’Neill won only one of his first 18 matches in charge.

Since then the former Shamrock Rovers manager has developed a wonderfully spirited team, who feed off each other’s desire and determination to win.  Also fuelling that are the goals of Kyle Lafferty, scorer of seven of the team’s 16 in qualification.

Despite the draw for the finals being unkind to Northern Ireland, placing them in Group C alongside Germany, Poland & Ukraine, should they be able to reproduce their qualification form they will prove a match for their technically superior opponents.


Since becoming an independent country in 1993, Slovakia have appeared at just one major finals, which was the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when they reached the last 16.

Although novices in terms of competing on the elite international stage, Jan Kozak’s side performed brilliantly to qualify for their first European Championship by winning seven of their 10 games, including a 2-1 home victory over Spain which brought the tournament holders unbeaten run of 36 matches to an end.  Despite the Spaniards avenging that defeat in the return game with a 2-0 win, that was Slovakia’s solitary loss during qualification.  Subsequently they reached the finals by finishing runners-up to Spain in a group which also contained Ukraine.

The Slovakian squad features a fine blend of experienced players several of whom play in Europe’s top leagues.  The experienced quintet of goalkeeper Jan Mucha (Slovan Bratislava), centre half Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), Juraj Kucka (Milan), Marik Hamsek (Napoli) and Adam Nemec (Willem II) form the spine of an dynamic, energetic and technically sound team, who have proved themselves capable of competing with the strongest international sides.  The aforementioned qualification victory over Spain testifies that, as does the 3-1 defeat of Germany they recorded in their second pre-finals warm up game.

Given such positive results there is reason to believe Slovakia have a realistic chance of advancing from finals Group B, which they will contest with England, Russia & Wales, to reach the knock-out stages of the tournament.


Adhering to their Football Associations slogan, ‘Better Together’, Wales produced a string of disciplined, indefatigable and spirited performances to built a successful qualifying campaign, which resulted in Chris Coleman’s side reaching a first major international tournament for 58 years.

After losing a goal just six minutes into their first qualifier against Andorra, which they recovered to win 2-1, Wales conceded just three more times in their remaining qualification games, whilst playing with freedom and zestfulness.

The main driving forces powering that were the extremely gifted duo of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, who between them scored nine of the team’s 11 qualifying goals.  The most memorable of those was Bale’s smart finish against Belgium at the Cardiff City stadium, which earned a famous 1-0 win.  That result elevated Wales to the top of Qualification Group B after six games and despite losing their last game against Bosnia, they finished as runners-up behind the Belgians to reach the finals.

Whilst Bale was ultimately instrumental in that journey - as the Real Madrid star’s seven goals and two assists meant that he either scored or set-up 82% of the team’s 11 goals during qualification - many other players were vitally important in ensuring it ended successfully.  For instance, goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, captain Ashley Williams and the aforementioned Ramsey performed outstandingly throughout qualification, during which the strength and togetherness of the Welsh squad was consistently evident.

Should Coleman’s players be able to carry that into the Finals then they will undoubtedly present a fine account of themselves whilst playing in Group B against England, Russia & Slovakia.



Dimitri Payet free-kick seals France friendly win ahead of Euro 2016 preparations

dimitri payet france

France midfielder Dimitri Payet scored the winner as Les Blues won 3-2 against Cameroon in a pre-Euro 2016 friendly on Monday evening. The West Ham United maestro struck in the dying minutes of the game with a trademark free-kick into the far corner. The angle seemed to favour a left-footer, but Payet somehow found the back of the net on the goalkeeper’s side to win the game in the 90th minute.

“When you score one, then two, then three, the crowd expect that you score every time. That doesn’t always happen, even though it worked again tonight. I don’t know if my goal rescued us but it allowed us to win when their second goal had been a bit contentious. It was special for me to come back here to this stadium, where I spent two beautiful seasons. And I was happy to feel the fans get behind us,” said Payet after the game.

The 29-year-old has enjoyed a real resurgence since his summer move to West Ham United, and is now a key player in the France squad. Manager Didier Deschamps has been the beneficiary of recalling him to the first-team, and Les Blues have another in-form attacking option to boost their chances in the European Championships.

Payet has developed a real knack with set pieces, and it will create such a nervous atmosphere should opposing sides commit fouls in dangerous areas. Scoring and creating 21 goals in 30 Premier League appearances for West Ham last season, Payet is deadly in the final third. He’s netted some outstanding free-kicks in the last 12 months alone, and gives France another dimension with his distribution in wide areas.

In addition to being a threat from direct set pieces, Payet boasts fantastic accuracy and technique to pick out his teammates. He is as likely to create a goal as he is to score one, and he could be a key player as France look to win Euro 2016 on home soil. Deschamps has a lot of attacking players to somehow fit into his starting eleven, and can hardly leave Payet out with how deadly he’s been of late.

Few players would have even attempted to score from the free-kick against Cameroon on Monday, as the angle did not favour a right-footer. Even less would put it into the back of the net as Payet did. The West Ham Player of the Year spends a lot of time after training practising his technique, and it’s clearly paying dividends. He could well light up Euro 2016 this summer.

Spain’s Dani Carvajal to miss this summer’s Euro 2016 through injury


Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal has revealed he will miss this summer’s European Championships after picking up a leg injury. The Spanish right-back limped off in Real’s Champions League final victory over Atletico Madrid in tears, and has confirmed that his muscle injury will rule him out of representing the national team as they bid to retain their European crown.

“I got injured and the only thing I can do is to wish my team-mates the best of luck. I feel a lot of contained rage. I fought for two years to try to make the group and I am disappointed with myself for the bad luck I’ve had. I’ve worked so hard to be in the preliminary squad and now look what has happened,” he said.

The 24-year-old started in the final, but was forced to come off minutes into the second-half. He later revealed he’d been fighting for a number of weeks with the niggle. “For two weeks I had some slight pain while I was preparing for the final. I felt a pain and I was able to hold on until half-time. When the second half started, I couldn’t continue any more. I had to leave and I knew there and then that I would probably miss Euro 2016,” Carvajal added.

It’s a big blow for the Real Madrid man as he was enjoying a real resurgence under manager Zinedine Zidane, and now won’t be able to fight for a starting place in the Spain squad. Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin is expected to replace him, according to national team manager Vincente Del Bosque, but Carvajal’s absence is a major blow given the form he was showcasing in La Liga.

Having made 22 appearances for Real Madrid this season, the academy graduate has given some real stability to the defence, while showcasing a threat in the final third too. Carvajal created 30 chances for Real in 2015/16, and would have provided the width in the Spain side when their forwards occupy central positions.

Dani Carvajal has made only a handful of caps for the Spain squad, but had progressed impressively after being axed from the 2014 World Cup roster. However, fortune has not favoured the Real Madrid man, and now he’ll be forced to cheer on the Spaniards from the sidelines. Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta and potentially Bellerin will be fighting it out for the right-back slot in Euro 2016. Carvajal will feel he stood a chance to dethrone the former had he been fit.

Arsenal new-boy Granit Xhaka in Switzerland’s Euro 2016 squad


Days after signing for Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach, midfielder Granit Xhaka will showcase his talents on the grand stage after making Switzerland’s squad for this summer’s European Championship. Having already made more than 40 caps for his country by the age of 23, Xhaka’s place in the side wasn’t in doubt, but his new fans will be able to see exactly what he will bring to the Arsenal side in 2016/17.

Boasting the strength and defensive discipline of Nemanja Matic (Chelsea), as well as the vision and balance of Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain), Xhaka is a curious player. He’s very combative and has been guilty of crossing the line with his challenges at times, but he has a fantastic eye for a pass when he gets his head up. The former FC Basel man is a key player in the Switzerland, regarded as one of their best imports since Xherdan Shaqiri.

Xhaka wears the #10 shirt for his country, and is given more freedom to affect the game in the final third at times. He’s scored six goals for Switzerland, and will be one of the side’s chief creators with his range of passing. The Arsenal man has enjoyed international success with the Swiss national team too, winning the U17 World Cup in 2009 and the U21 European Championships in 2011.

Switzerland are dark horses in this summer’s Euros, enjoying an outstanding qualifying campaign to make it this far – 10 games, 7 wins – so they shouldn’t be underestimated. The combative qualities and rugged attributes of Granit Xhaka will ensure Switzerland don’t have a soft, exploitable centre this summer, and Arsenal fans are sure to enjoy watching his performances. Racking up the tackles and interceptions, Xhaka will be providing the protection to the defence that Arsenal have sorely lacked for many years.

Despite still being only 23, the defensive midfielder is one of the most experienced players in the squad with how many games he’s played for Switzerland in such a short space of time. His first international appearance came in 2011, and now he sees the likes of Gokhan Inler (Leicester City) unable to make the squad, partly due to his rise to prominence in a similar role.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is sure to be paying attention to the £30M-man’s fortunes in this summer’s European Championships too, so he’ll be hoping Granit Xhaka enjoys a good tournament and keeps fit ahead of his switch to the Emirates Stadium.

England’s Daniel Sturridge won’t be match fit for Euro 2016

Daniel Sturridge England

England striker Daniel Sturridge has recently returned from injury to train with the first-team ahead of Thursday’s friendly against Portugal, but given this summer’s European Championship is just over a week away, will the Liverpool man be match fit in time?

Sturridge has been struggling for fitness throughout the entirety of last season. The 26-year-old made just 11 Premier League starts for the Merseysiders in 2015/16, and missed England’s friendlies against Turkey and Australia with a niggle. He was training on his own over the weekend but joined the first-team squad on Monday, and is hoping to get some game time against Portugal.

Manager Roy Hodgson has been keeping his cards close to his chest when speaking about Sturridge, but it’s clear he needs to be convinced the centre-forward can handle the rigours of playing matches just days apart in the European Championships. The Liverpool striker is an outstanding talent, evident from the eight goals scored in 11 league starts in last season’s injury-hit campaign, but England are blessed with depth in attack.

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford was a beneficiary of Sturridge missing out of England’s recent Australia clash, scoring just minutes into his senior team debut, and reports are now suggesting the teenager will make the squad regardless. As for the Liverpool man, he will learn his fate on Tuesday night if he’s made the 23-man squad. Hodgson needs to axe two more players and Sturridge is in the firing line given the lack of game time of late.

However, it’s easy to forget just how good the 26-year-old is even when his season has been disrupted with injury problems. Daniel Sturridge boasts a 122 minutes-per-game ratio in the Premier League with Liverpool in 2015/16, and scored an outstanding effort in the Europa League final this month too. He’s a player who can produce magic in attack when given the faith to impress so Hodgson wouldn’t axe Sturridge lightly.

He would have been right on the tails of Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) and Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) if fully fit, but might have to make do with substitute appearances. Sturridge has another day to train with the England squad before Hodgson names his 23-man squad. Given the former Chelsea and Manchester City man hasn’t featured for England this summer, he faces a sweat when the final squad is announced at midnight on Tuesday.

Sturridge could still have a role to play as an impact player, but Roy Hodgson has already stated he won’t take chances on any players carrying injuries. It could be a miserable summer for the Liverpool man if he misses out.