Seven surprise players who could make Roy Hodgson's Euro 2016 squad

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The European Championships will soon be upon us as England manager Roy Hodgson weighs up his options ahead of selecting his 23-man squad for the tournament.

Players will be looking to force their way into his plans and secure their seat on the plane to France - and history suggests there will be a surprise inclusion or two.

A 17-year-old Theo Walcott was chosen for the 2006 World Cup, whilst Emile Heskey made the cut for the 2010 World Cup - two unprecedented picks given their age and ability at the time.


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So, who will it be this time around? Here’s a look at seven players who will give Hodgson a selection headache.


Lingard has slowly made his way into the United first-team after a string of fine performances over the last few months.

Ending last season as the stand-out performer during a dismal Under-21s Euro campaign, the 23-year-old has looked the part in the United midfield, scoring three goals in his last seven appearances - the latest a sublime finish against Chelsea.

He would do very well to make the squad, of course, but he has every chance if he continues finding the net.

Verdict: Will probably fall just short.


The Saints hitman rather belatedly secured a £4 million return to the Premier League in January and instantly made an impact by scoring a late winner at Old Trafford on his debut.

Still uncapped, the 26-year-old striker has endured a slow rise to prominence yet scored plenty wherever he has played. Austin has notched at least 16 league goals in every season since 2011/12 and was only behind Harry Kane in last year’s English scoring charts.

Verdict: Likely to miss out.


What an incredible rise it has been for one of the unsung heroes of Leicester City’s unlikely title challenge.

Whilst Jamie Vardy - surely in the squad himself - and Riyad Mahrez take most of the plaudits, perhaps it’s time Drinkwater was shown the appreciation he deserves.

Let go from United at the age of 21, the midfielder found himself at the King Power Stadium after a succession of loans in the Championship.

Now a major component of the Foxes' fairytale story, the 25-year-old is proving his worth and may provide the balance in a group of English midfielders full of attacking talent.

Verdict: Completing the Premier League dream may just be enough to persuade Hodgson.


Now a veteran Premier League centre-back, Shawcross’ only senior England experience to date involved trying - and failing - to hook Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s glorious overhead strike for Sweden off the line in 2012. Yeah, that one.

At club level, his defensive record is ever-improving. His first five 90-minute appearances in the league this season yielded five clean sheets and his Potters teammates have looked lost without him at times.

And with question marks being raised over the form of Gary Cahill, there may yet be a starting place up for grabs.

Verdict: Should squeeze in, as long as he overcomes his latest injury woes.


Talk about a rise and fall. Lennon has not pulled on an England shirt since early 2013, when the Three Lions saw off Brazil at Wembley.

But after being left out of the World Cup squad and finding his time up at Spurs, his international career looked over.

Yet a rejuvenated player has emerged at Everton and he has scored four in his last seven appearances, terrorising defences with his pace in the process.

Verdict: Would be a shock inclusion.


Another player yet to receive an England cap despite lengthy top-flight experience, Noble has been a constant for West Ham for over a decade.

Yet no international call-up has ever come the 28-year-old’s way, and while he continues to thrive under current Hammers boss Slaven Bilic, Noble could bring a measured game to the England setup.

However, given the quality of midfielders in front of him in the current pecking order, it appears his chances may have slipped away.

Verdict: Perhaps a bit too late, but a friendly appearance would not go unwarranted.


Now, there’s no denying the quality of these three, and on an ordinary day, they’re shoo-ins for a place in England’s 23.

But they have all been struck by injury and are in a race against time to find full fitness and put their cases forward to Hodgson - and with only a few months remaining before the June 1 deadline, it could be a tough ask for them.

Shaw’s horror injury means he is unlikely to be rushed back into action, whilst Arsenal's Welbeck may find games hard to come by once fully recovered, even despite his last-minute heroics against Leicester on Sunday.

Sturridge, on the other hand, has been used cautiously by Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool so far but his cameos this season have at least shown encouraging signs, especially after scoring on his return against Aston Villa over the weekend.

Verdict: Sturridge the most likely of the three but will face stiff competition. Shaw and Welbeck must be considered outsiders at this stage.

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