England manager Roy Hodgson has laughed off suggestions that he will drop Manchester United star Wayne Rooney from the Three Lions squad, according to reports from the Daily Mail.
Hodgson has given the strongest indication thus far that he will bring Rooney to the European Championships this summer, claiming that it will require a huge change to see him dropped from the roster.
The likes of Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane, and Dele Alli all impressed in recent friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands, which saw many fans and critics suggest leaving Rooney at home in the summer.
The Red Devils centre-forward is currently nursing a knee injury that has kept him out the past month, but Hodgson is backing his captain to return and play at his usual high standards.
He said: “It would take a lot before I say to Wayne Rooney after his captaincy over two years, after 19 games and two defeats, that because I am being pushed to make a bold decision and show what a forward-thinking and adventurous coach I am, I am leaving you out. It would take an awful lot.
“Most teams, if they are any good as teams, don’t throw their captain out the first time a young player comes in and scores a goal unless the captain is playing so badly there is a clear reason for doing so. Rooney has never given us any reasons to do that and I expect him to start playing well again and I expect him to be on the plane to France.”
However, the former Liverpool manager has claimed that the 30-year-old needs to get fit before the tournament due to the high number of players competing for his position.
He added: “Of course, he has to get fit, he has to get playing. He would not expect me to just give him a position in the team on sentiment or on his past record or the fact that he’s the captain.
“With Vardy and Kane scoring goals, Sturridge and Welbeck fit again, and [Raheem] Sterling to come back, the competition is a lot fiercer than it was even two years ago.”