The striker’s injury has dealt a big blow to his dreams of representing England at the tournament. The presence of other fit and productive strikers from the Premier League like Harry Kane (24 goals) and Jamie Vardy (22 goals) and a host of others present Roy with multiple options.
It is, therefore, clear that the Old Trafford legend won’t be missed after all, if he is omitted – maybe not missed on the pitch but he’ll surely be missed for other reasons.
“Of course, with the competition that’s coming for the places where he plays, I do understand there’s questions about, well, should he be the one playing or should another? That’s another matter altogether,” Hodgson told British media.
Truth is, it won’t matter much for England if the striker doesn’t play but the country surely will miss his impact on the bench as well as in the dressing room.
Rooney has experience, charisma and character. The young players have a lot to gain from him as an exemplary leader.
The manager continued: “He merits a place among the 23. I don’t see any reason (to omit him) if Rooney is 100% and playing matches. In a squad of 23, something would have to happen much more than people doubting his form before I said, ‘I’m going to ditch Wayne Rooney now after two years of captaining the team, 20-odd games where he’s been an important part of this group.'”
Hodgson also played down the chances of emerging Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford of making the cut for France, as the manager feels the tournament has come too soon for the 18-year-old.
Rashford has scored seven goals in 13 games since bursting through with a double strike on his debut against Midtjylland in the Europa League in February.
The 68-year-old manager added: “As far as the first national team is concerned, it would be a very bold decision to put him in. It would mean possibly leaving someone behind who at the moment, in my opinion, has more reason to be called up.”
England will play against Russia, Slovakia and Wales in Group B. The 24-team tournament kicks off on June 10.