Roy Hodgson announced his final 23-man squad for England’s Euro 2016 campaign on Tuesday, with Danny Drinkwater, Fabian Delph, and Andros Townsend being the players to miss out from his provisional squad.
This meant that the likes of Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere, and Daniel Sturridge were all included despite fitness concerns, and there was also a place on the plane for teenager Marcus Rashford.
German stars Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan, Italy’s Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratti and France's youngster Raphael Varane are just several high-profile players who will miss this summer’s tournament through injury.
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Hodgson himself could have had an even stronger squad to take to France had three important players not been injured.
Here are three English players that would have made the Euro 2016 squad had they not been ruled out due to injury.
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Luke Shaw played in England’s first two Euro 2016 qualifiers of the 2015-16 season and was set to become a permanent fixture in Hodgson’s starting line-up before his double-leg fracture in September 2015.
The Manchester United man isn’t just a solid defender, but with his speed, energy and ability to run with the ball at pace, he is a very dangerous attacking outlet as well.
The 20-year-old was in the best form of his United career prior to his horrific injury, and the likes of Leighton Baines, Kieran Gibbs, and Ryan Bertrand have all failed to nail down the England left-back position in his absence.
Shaw has been recovering for months and is expected to make his long-awaited return during United’s pre-season tour of China which starts towards the end of July.
Upon his return to full fitness, the former Southampton man is likely to re-establish himself as first choice left-back for both club and country.
England’s squad only has one recognised winger in Raheem Sterling so if Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was fit he would’ve almost certainly gone to Euro 2016.
The tenacious youngster has never been a regular under Wenger and has been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium this summer. He appeared in seven of England’s ten qualifiers but incredibly has started just 49 Premier League games in half a decade at Arsenal.
Despite the lack of playing time for his club, Chamberlain would have offered something different to the midfielders in Hodgson’s squad. The talented 22-year-old is blessed with pace and athleticism, and has the trickery and technical ability to make something happen in the final third.
Also, he’s one of the few players still in the England setup who went to the last European Championships in 2012. If Oxlade-Chamberlain can overcome his injury problems and play regularly at club level, there’s no doubt that he will be a star for England in the years to come.
Hodgson is a huge fan of Danny Welbeck and his form during the qualification process was outstanding, scoring six goals in just five games.
The 25-year-old forward was as good as guaranteed a starting place at Euro 2016 before undergoing knee surgery last month which ended his tournament hopes and ruled him out for nine months.
Welbeck was in good form for Arsenal after his return from a 10-month injury layoff back in February, and his ability to play both through the middle and in wider areas would have made him an extremely useful asset this summer.
His power and blistering change of pace make him a real danger, whilst his energy and work ethic would have enhanced England’s ability to press their opposition.
In all likelihood, had Welbeck been fit and available for selection, Hodgson probably wouldn’t even have considered teenage striker and debutant goalscorer Marcus Rashford.
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