England manager Roy Hodgson guaranteed a fit Wayne Rooney a place in his Euro 2016 squad during an interview on talkSPORT’s Drivetime radio programme.
The Three Lions skipper has missed Manchester United’s last six games with a knee injury, and his form had been criticised in the months before that, as Sky Sports reports.
But Hodgson has insisted that the only way that the 30-year-old will not go to this summer’s tournament in France is if he does not recover from his fitness problem.
“Yes I can [say Rooney will be there if fit], because he is our captain, he is our most experienced player,” he told talkSPORT. “He’s not missed one squad of the last eight squads. He has never let us down.
“I’m not prepared to say categorically about any players at this stage that they will go but I certainly will dismiss any discussions about Wayne Rooney and whether or not he should go. My only fear is that he won’t recover in time from his injury, but it’s a minor fear.”
Rooney has endured another lean season in the Premier League, scoring just seven times while several strong contenders for his England striking spot have emerged.
Leicester City record-breaker Jamie Vardy is the Premier League’s top scorer with 19 goals, while Harry Kane has kept Tottenham Hotspur in title contention with 17 of his own.
Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge making goalscoring returns to action, and Jermain Defoe finding form for Sunderland, means Hodgson has some tough choices to make.
Guaranteeing Rooney a place in his team would be premature, but there should be little argument about the former Everton forward at least deserving to make the plane.
He scored seven goals in England’s flawless qualifying campaign, becoming his country’s all-time leading scorer in the progress, and his United form has improved of late.
Rooney has found the net seven times in nine games for the Red Devils in 2016, almost as though he was answering those who were doubting his case for Euros inclusion.
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