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Published: 11:15 | 16/5/16

Rashford named in England squad

Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford has been included in England's provisional 26-man squad for Euro 2016, but Theo Walcott misses out.

Rashford only made his first-team debut for United in February but he made an instant impact for Louis van Gaal's side, scoring two goals in the Europa League defeat of FC Midtjylland before netting a brace in the win over Arsenal three days later.

Seven goals in 16 games for United coupled with Danny Welbeck's injury have forced him into the reckoning for next month's finals in France.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been included despite missing the majority of the season through injury, while Newcastle winger Andros Townsend gets the nod along with Tottenham pair Dele Alli and Eric Dier. However, there is no place for Walcott or Phil Jagielka.

"When we were thinking how many players were wanted, there was uncertainty over Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson, both are medically fit and it was better to add players to the squad. I am making life harder for myself by naming 26 which has to be reduced to 23," Hodgson explained.

"Danny Welbeck's injury did disrupt my plan because it is about balancing the team. We had a very good qualification campaign and you don’t want to lose players from it. We will miss the options he gives us.

"Marcus Rashford is one of the contenders. Competition is strong and he deserves to be selected for the main squad but i am pleased someone who has had an outstanding end to the season has a great future. He will have the chance to knock someone off their perch."

Explaining the omission of Everton defenders Leighton Baines and Jagielka, and Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, Hodgson added: "Leighton hasn't played for us for well over a year.

"He was injured for a long time and it's good to see him back playing but in his absence people like Danny Rose, (Ryan) Bertrand and (Kieran) Gibbs have been filling the breach.

"Michael has played a part for us on a regular basis over these last two years and has been unfortunate with injuries but I've actually spoken to all three of those players and they were tough decisions.

"They're players that I respect and admire but you have to make a decision and there are only 23 players so I decided that on this occasion I would rob Peter to pay Paul in the sense of taking seven defenders rather than the classic eight, to give me a chance to take one more player in the midfield and forwards section.

"Unfortunately that means no Phil and it was a tough conversation but that's the kind of conversation you have to have, and I'm pleased I was able to speak to him before this announcement because I wouldn't have been very happy if he'd found out from this press conference."

England provisional squad for Euro 2016:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Fraser Forster, Tom Heaton.

Defenders: Nathaniel Clyne, Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, John Stones, Ryan Bertrand, Danny Rose.

Midfielders: Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, Fabian Delph, Eric Dier, Danny Drinkwater, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Raheem Sterling, Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshere.

Strikers: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy.

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