Euro 2016: Marcus Rashford makes England provisional squad

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford
Rashford has yet to play for the England senior team

England manager Roy Hodgson has named Manchester United's 18-year-old striker Marcus Rashford in an initial 26-man squad for Euro 2016.

Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere are also called up for the tournament.

But Theo Walcott, Phil Jagielka, Jermain Defoe and Mark Noble miss out.

All 24 teams have until 31 May to submit their 23-man squads for Euro 2016, which is being held in France from 10 June to 10 July.

Rashford only broke into the United first team in the second half of the season but quickly became a firm fixture.

He scored four times in his first two appearances and has seven goals from 16 games since making his senior debut on 25 February.

Asked about Rashford's chances of featuring in his final 23-man squad, Hodgson, 68, said: "The competition is quite strong, he'll understand that.

"There's no reason why he can't knock someone off their perch, but it will be harder than some people might expect."

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Townsend, 24, ended the campaign strongly despite his club's relegation from the Premier League.

"Huge honour to be named in provisional England squad," tweeted Townsend, who joined Newcastle in a £12m move from Tottenham in January.

"Will give my all over next few weeks to try and make final squad!"

Wilshere, 24, broke his leg in August and only made his first start of the season for Arsenal on Sunday.

He tweeted: "Absolutely buzzing! I can't wait to meet up with the squad and start preparing for the Euros. Thanks for all the messages."

Responding to his omission, Walcott tweeted: "I am of course disappointed not to make the squad, but I have spoken with Roy and respect his decision."

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Who's in Roy Hodgson's Euro 2016 squad?

Hodgson's 26-man squad features two players from Premier League champions Leicester City - striker Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater - while Tottenham, who finished third, and Liverpool both provide five players.

England begin their Group B campaign against Russia on 11 June, before facing Wales (16 June) and Slovakia (20 June).

They warm up for the tournament with matches against Turkey (22 May), Australia (27 May) and Portugal (2 June).

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Hodgson said he would like to tell the 23 players who have made the final squad after the game against Australia.

Former England striker Gary Lineker said the 26-man squad contained "bags of talented youngsters".

He tweeted: "Great experience for them. Give them their wings, take pressure off, have fun and see where it takes us."

Squad

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), 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).

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Analysis

Chief football writer Phil McNulty

There is still a good chance Rashford will miss out when the squad is whittled down to 23 for France, but it is a sign of his progress that he is included while Walcott misses out.

Hodgson, predictably, has included Wilshere despite him being injured for virtually the entire season.

The Arsenal player is a key figure if fit, Hodgson having used him at the base of a diamond formation and also as a creative force, as shown by his two goals in the 3-2 qualifier win in Slovenia.

Jordan Henderson appears to have regained fitness in time, but both the Liverpool player and Wilshere will be under scrutiny in the three friendlies.

England's defensive heart is arguably the most suspect part of Hodgson's team and perhaps reflected in just three recognised central defenders - Smalling, Cahill and Stones - being selected.

Tottenham's Eric Dier is picked as a holding midfield player but will act as central defensive cover.

England look well blessed with attacking options but there must still be very big question marks for the defence when facing opposition of the highest quality.

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England squad in stats

  • Forster has kept 19 Premier League clean sheets in the last two Premier League seasons; Joe Hart (29) is the only England keeper to keep more.
  • Bertrand is one of only five Premier League full-backs to have made more than 200 crosses in the last two seasons
  • Smalling has been present for 17 of Manchester United's 18 clean sheets in the Premier League
  • Stones made 33 Premier league blocks for Everton - nine more than any other player at the club
  • Alli has been involved in 19 Premier League goals (nine goals, 10 assists) this season, more than any other English midfielder in the division
  • Drinkwater made more tackles (106) than any other English midfielder in the Premier League this season
  • Henderson made more passes than any other England midfielder during Euro 2016 qualifying (353).
  • Wilshere played more successful passes than any other England midfielder during the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign (291).
  • Rashford became the youngest player to score in a Premier League Manchester derby this season, when he netted against Man City aged 18 years and 141 days.
  • Sturridge scored a goal every 122 minutes in the Premier League this season, the best goals per minute ratio of any English player to score.

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