Six left-field options for Hodgson to take to Euro 2016
With March now upon us in the year of a summer international tournament, it’s about time we start debating who will, who won’t, who should, and who shouldn’t be in Roy Hodgon’s England team for their escapades in France.
After the now familiar disaster that was the World Cup, the Three Lions head to France having cruised through their qualifying group.
But their record at the European Championships is the definition of average, claiming nine wins, nine draws and suffering nine defeats in 27 games in the finals.
With Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy scoring for fun this season, however, and the likes of Dele Alli and John Stones breaking through into Premier League regulars, there’s reason to believe that maybe things will be different for Hodgson’s men across the Channel.
But before we get too bogged down in it all, we’re putting forward the cases for some unusual selections…
With all the talk about Marcus Rashford of late, it’s easy to overlook the achievements of Jesse Lingard at Manchester United this term.
The 23-year-old has become a regular at Old Trafford, and three goals in his last seven games is a tidy return for a man often utilised out wide.
With Theo Walcott failing to impress, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injured, Lingard could usurp them both and make the squad.
The Leicester City midfielder has enjoyed a superb campaign, and has kept the Foxes ticking over beautifully.
Undoubtedly one of the unsung heroes, Drinkwater’s cool, calm and collected style on the pitch could be just what England need in the middle of the park when under pressure.
Like Drinkwater, Danny Rose could win the Premier League this season, and yet he’s never played for his national team.
The left-back has quelled many of the concerns over his defensive capabilities, and after starting the campaign behind Ben Davies in the pecking order, has become the left-back of choice for Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane in recent months.
Tottenham boast the best defensive record in the league, and Rose has had a big say in that.
This question seems to come up every two to four years, but fewer Englishmen this century know how to score better than Jermain Defoe.
At 33, the striker still has plenty in the tank, and 10 goals for a struggling Sunderland side at this stage of the season is a testament to his quality.
He’s no stranger to big tournaments and could be the perfect impact substitute.
The Watford man has often done the groundwork for Odion Ighalo’s 14 Premier League goals, and Deeney brings a physical presence with pace and energy that is unmatched by the likes of Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane or Jamie Vardy.
Deeney has eight goals himself this term and could easily end the campaign well into double figures.
An England rookie he may be, but like Vardy his lower-league grounding could be exactly what England need.
The Crystal Palace midfielder must have upset somebody at the FA, with the 29-year-old yet to make his England bow despite season upon season of excellent defensive performances.
At 6ft 5in he would add an extra element to England’s team, and five goals for the Eagles this term shows he’s pretty handy at the other end of the pitch too.
With John Terry now retired, and John Stones maybe not quite ready, this is Dann’s best chance of breaking into the international fold.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.