Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford included in Roy Hodgson’s provisional 26-man squad for next month’s European Championship.
England boss Roy Hodgson has included Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford in his preliminary 26-man squad for Euro 2016.
Rashford enjoyed an impressive debut campaign with United, scoring four goals in 10 top-flight appearances.
Theo Walcott, Leighton Baines, Michael Carrick, Phil Jagielka and Jermain Defoe were the most notable omissions.
Rashford, 18, has not previously received a call-up from Hodgson, but could now make his first senior international appearance in the friendly against Turkey at the Etihad Stadium on Monday, May 23.
“He is one of the contenders [for the final squad],” said Hodgson. “Of course the competition for him is quite strong, he will understand that as well but I think he deserves to be selected, certainly in this larger squad.
“It will be interesting to see what he can do, albeit maybe only for one week after the [FA] Cup final before I name the squad.
“He had an outstanding end to the season, he is a young player who has got a future if he can continue to develop as he has done.
“It is great to be able to include him. There is no reason – if he does particularly well – he can’t knock someone off their perch but that will be harder than in other years given how well the others have done in qualifying.”
Despite fitness concerns, Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere have been included.
After 10 months on the sidelines with a leg fracture, Wilshere only made his first Premier League start of the season in the 4-0 victory over Aston Villa at the weekend.
Henderson has been included after making his return from just over one month out with a knee injury as a 64th-minute substitute in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against West Brom.
Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend has made the cut despite his club’s relegation.
Harry Kane will look to carry the form that saw him finish as the Premier League’s highest scoring player with 25 goals for Tottenham into the tournament in France.
Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater, two key parts of Leicester City’s surprise title triumph this season, have also been called up by Hodgson.
Danny Welbeck misses out having undergone surgery on a knee injury, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Luke Shaw and Jack Butland have all been ruled out through injury.
After further friendlies against Australia and Portugal, England begin their Euro 2016 campaign against Russia in Marseille on June 12.
Hodgson added: “As a coach, all you can do is prepare the team for one game at a time. We’ll see how far that takes us.
“Everyone enjoys saying ‘This is what I would have done’ but we’ve done a lot of work to analyse the players in the squad.
“With the youth, I’d like to think the squad will have a long future. We go there with a desire to win the tournament.
“I don’t want the players to be fearful or be weighed down with any expectation. We’ll give it our best shot.”
Rashford’s United team-mate Wayne Rooney, who has endured his lowest-scoring season since his breakthrough campaign at Everton in 2002-03 with just seven goals for Manchester United this term, will captain the side in France.
England’s provisional 26-man squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley).
Defenders: Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Danny Rose (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 United), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Strikers: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).