Hodgson explains reason behind inclusion of Wilshere, suggests he won't be dropped from Euro 2016 squad

Jack Wilshere

The Arsenal midfielder has played less than two-and-a-half hours of competitive football this season but could be going to France.

Roy Hodgson has explained his reasoning for the controversial inclusion of Jack Wilshere in his 26-man preliminary squad for Euro 2016, and seemed to suggest that the Arsenal midfielder will not be one of the three players left out of the final squad, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.

Wilshere was named in the Three Lions initial squad for next month's tournament in France despite having played just 141 minutes of competitive first-team football this season after suffering a latest long-term injury last summer.

Numerous fans and several pundits had called for the 24-year-old to be left out of Hodgson's squad in favour of such stars of this season as West Ham United captain Mark Noble, but the England coach has decided to keep faith with the Gunners star.4

Wilshere already has 28 senior caps under his belt, and was playing a starring role for his country before his injury. scoring twice in the 3-2 qualifying win over Slovenia in his last appearance 11 months ago.

Hodgson admitted that he would have preferred to see Wilshere in regular action this season, but he insisted that his recent performances for England and the fact that he brings something different to the side made his selection "a very easy thing to do."

The 68-year-old said, as quoted by the Standard: "I am not worried about him. Obviously, I think he is a real quality player. He ticks all the boxes. I had to ask myself certain questions. Is he actually fit now? Yes, he is fit.

"I had to ask myself if he is the type of player who brings something different to the team, a player we do not have an abundance of? The answer was yes.

"The third question, well, at top-level competition, in the qualifiers, has he performed? Has he done the job for us? Has he been a very good player? I think three man-of-the-matches in a row would answer that one. So, really, to select him in a group of 26 was a very easy thing to do."

Those comments seem to strongly suggest that Hodgson has not earmarked Wilshere as one of the players he is considering dropping when he names his final squad later this month.

Hodgson must cut down his 26-man squad to a group of 23 ahead of the tournament, with the three men who are dropped likely to remain on standby in case of injury before the competition kicks off.

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