Leicester City’s outstanding midfielder Danny Drinkwater was dropped from the England Euro 2016 squad for Manchester United’s wunderkind Marcus Rashford, manager Roy Hodgson revealed.
The 18-year-old who had a breakthrough season with the Red Devils marked his debut for the Three Lions with a goal in the 2-1 win over Australia last week and that was enough to sway Hodgson into giving him a spot in his 23-man squad for the Euro.
However, that decision did not go down well with Former England captain Alan Shearer, not because he gave Rashford a slot but because he denied Danny Drinkwater a spot and instead picked Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson who were plagued by injuries during the cause of the season.
“He was a tough one to leave out,” Hodgson explained at a media conference on Wednesday.
“As far as we are concerned if you look back over the two years we have been working together, Danny was very much the last man in, in that respect.
“It simply became a question of do I take the extra attacker or midfielder? That’s how Rashford came about. He’s had that fantastic end to the season and it will be very interesting to see in a squad of 23 whether he can bring those qualities at a higher level.
“It certainly was never going to be ‘if we put Rashford in for this game and he does well, we’ll take him’. For us it’s always been the balance of the squad rather than X v Y who play in the same position.
“The balance is good, if anything tilted towards an offensive approach. We believe defending is very much a team job and we can’t just rely on a back four and a goalkeeper.
“We need great mobility and great running power to defend in that way. With this squad they’ve got the ability to give us that. Often in a tournament the players that get injured or suffer a lack of form are the guys at the cutting edge, the guys who make the difference or score the goals.
“I’m comfortable that, whatever way we want to play, we’ll be covered. Systems win you nothing. Football players win you games.”