Drinkwater earns maiden England squad call-up, Sturridge and Welbeck return
Lee Gormley | March 17, 2016
Drinkwater included in England squad
Roy Hodgson has named his 24-man England squad for friendly meetings against Germany and the Netherlands, with Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck returning to the fold after previous injury setbacks, while Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater earns his maiden senior call-up.
— England (@england) March 17, 2016
Tottenham full back Danny Rose is also included in the set-up, as he targets a first ever senior Three Lions appearance in the upcoming match-ups, with Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge and Southampton stopper Fraser Forster making returns to the squad after injury layoffs.
England contest both Germany and the Dutch in friendly meetings on March 26th and 29th respectively ahead of a big summer in France for Euro 2016, where the Three Lions are 10/1 with Coral to rally to victory.
Hodgson backs exciting set-up
With Leicester enjoying a historic campaign, Drinkwater’s inclusion isn’t much of a surprise after his recent form, and Hodgson has backed the called-up midfielder while also keeping the door open for others to come in.
“Danny Drinkwater is having a fantastic season in a team that is having a fantastic season,” stated the England coach.
“It will be a [tough] task for people to break through but I’m not prepared to say ‘this is it’. There are players outside this squad, not to mention the injured ones. Overall we’re looking at quite a big group. The door is open.”
With skipper Wayne Rooney out with injury, Hodgson has named five forwards which can impress in the captain’s absence, including the returning Sturridge and Welbeck, as Harry Kane rightfully takes his place alongside Foxes frontman Jamie Vardy and Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.
Midfield, defence and goalkeepers
The England boss admitted he is still monitoring injured Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere for a potential Euro 2016 place but, in his current squad, Tottenham’s Dele Alli is included, along with clubmate Eric Dier, in-form Ross Barkley and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling.
In the backline, Hodgson has called up Saints full back Ryan Bertrand, Everton duo Phil Jagielka and John Stones and impressive Manchester United centre back Chris Smalling.
Between the sticks, Joe Hart is the obvious inclusion, but Forster’s comeback to proceedings will keep the Man City stopper on his toes for a starting position, while Stoke City’s Jack Butland will hope to enjoy minutes on the pitch as well ahead of Euro 2016.
Full England squad
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Man City).
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham).
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Man City).
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).