Welbeck May Not Make Euro 2016 – Hodgson

The England boss says that the striker’s fitness problems are “bothering” him and suggested that he might not travel to France next summer


England boss Roy Hodgson fears that Danny Welbeck could miss out on a place in the Euro 2016 squad because of his persistent injury troubles.

The Arsenal striker has been out of action since May with a knee injury and has suffered another set back after undergoing surgery.

The Gunners revealed that Welbeck will be out for even longer now and Hodgson has admitted he is worried about his situation.

“Welbeck bothers me now,” he said. “He has already been out for me since March so that’s over four months already.

“Now I hear it’s going to be another six months, so I can only hope that Danny recovers a bit quicker and hits the ground running.

“I’ve got to make certain there are a few Jamie Vardys and Harry Kanes and Theo Walcotts because we can’t keep going around talking about the ones who aren’t there.

“What we’re trying to develop is a bigger pool of players, to get that up to 30, where we can say: ‘Whatever happens, as long as we can get 23 of this 30, we’ll be OK.’

“Then you would have to be very unlucky if two or three in the same position went down. We don’t need more than 30.”

The Three Lions boss also admitted that he is waiting on clarification from Aston Villa youngster Jack Grealish over his international career, with the 19-year-old still to decide if he wants to feature for England or Ireland.

“I’m not 100 per cent certain of what he is waiting for,” Hodgson said. “As far as I am concerned I would like him to come out and say: ‘I’ve thought about it, I’ve got the two possibilities and I’m opting for England’ and then he will be available for selection.

”I’m more than happy to speak to the boy. I’m more than happy to speak to his manager and more than happy to speak to his parents. 

“We’ve spoken to him and what we’ve said, quite simply, is that we think he is a very talented footballer. We think he could have a very good international career and we would be more than happy if he chose that career to be England.

“I’m still hoping that’s what he will do but at the same time because of his grandparents he has the opportunity to play for Ireland.

“I made it clear to him: ‘It’s got to be your decision, it’s got to be something you really want to do and that feels right because I certainly don’t want to put you under any undue pressure and I’m not going to resort to artificial means to get you with us and stop you playing elsewhere. I want you to play for England because you want to play for England.’

“It would be nice if he says yes and then he would have a year to see if he could knock one or two of these players off their perch. That would be pleasant but there is no time limit.”

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