Contrary to expectations of English and Leicester City supporters, Roy Hodgson made the big decision of leaving Danny Drinkwater out of England's 23-man squad for Euro 2016.
The news was met with great surprise as the Leicester midfielder was instrumental in clinching the league title for the Foxes, the side's first ever Premier League triumph.
Owing to the exquisite season experienced by the defensive midfielder, many people have claimed it was a massive mistake by Hodgson to leave him out of the final squad, stating that he should have gone over Arsenal's Jack Wilshere.
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Throughout the season, the 26-year-old never put a foot wrong, and followed Claudio Ranieri's instructions to the letter.
The Premier League winner was a crucial figure in the heart of Leicester's midfield, forming a cohesive partnership with N'Golo Kante and linking the defense with the attack.
Drinkwater was responsible for more of the defensive aspects in midfield, with Kante making more of the forward runs to support the attack.
Despite sitting deep in midfield, the England international had no problems distributing the ball to the forwards and delivering through balls to the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy with pinpoint precision.
After receiving plaudits from critics and fans, the England midfielder certainly deserved a place in the Three Lions team, and also made it to the 26-man provisional squad.
The England manager truly had a difficult decision to make in narrowing the preliminary squad down to just 23 players, especially due to the emergence of several young English players over the last couple of seasons.
Competition for Places
Promising players such as Wilshere, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, and Ross Barkley certainly deserved a place in the squad, leaving little space for additional players.
Just like Drinkwater, the aforementioned English players are prominent players for their respective clubs and deserve a place in the team.
Considering Drinkwater's preferred position as a central midfielder, there is great competition in the England team for that role.
Tottenham's Eric Dier is arguably England's best choice in defensive midfield, as the 22-year-old brings great energy and youthfulness to the team, in addition to his defensive abilities in the center of the park.
Something that separates Dier from other holding midfielders, is his ability to get into attacking positions and score goals, making the young midfielder a great asset for the English side.
Other central midfielders selected in the squad are Wilshere and Henderson, who are more experienced on the international stage than Drinkwater and the quality they bring to the side is unquestionable.
Placing Drinkwater in other positions in midfield such as attacking midfield or out wide would be far from ideal, especially with a host of attacking and wide players already in the squad.
Also, in recent friendlies against Turkey and Australia, Drinkwater looked far from impressive, as compared to his fellow English teammates. These games could have been the perfect opportunity for the midfielder to cement his place in the side.
Despite Drinkwater's average showing in the last two games, the Three Lions still managed to pull off wins. Looking at the England team, there is no question that it is a strong side, even without the Leicester midfielder.
Hence, two important questions need to be answered in order to settle this debate.
Does Danny Drinkwater deserve a place in the side? As discussed earlier, the answer is yes.
However, will his absence be greatly detrimental to England's chances during the Euros? Considering the England squad selected and the recent friendlies, the answer is a no.
Taking the above points into account, it is certainly hard to argue against Hodgson's decision to leave Drinkwater out of the team.
Having said that, there is no reason why the Leicester player could not feature for the Three Lions in the future, particularly the upcoming World Cup in Russia.
Did Roy Hodgson make the right decision to exclude Danny Drinkwater from his Euro 2016 squad? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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