No Jermain Defoe but three former Sunderland players make England squad

England boss Roy Hodgson has handed uncapped Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater a first call-up.

Thursday, 17th March 2016, 1:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2016, 1:41 pm
Uncapped Danny Rose is in the England squad

And Hodgson insisted there is still time for players to force their way into his thinking for this summer's European Championships.

But there was no place in the squad for Sunderland's top scorer Jermain Defoe, who is the third highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League with 11 top flight goals.

Three former Sunderland players did make the cut though, Tottenham full-back Danny Rose, Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson and Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck.

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Drinkwater's exceptional form for the Barclays Premier League leaders has seen him called into Hodgson's 24-man squad for a friendly with world champions Germany in Berlin next week and a glamour tie with Holland at Wembley.

The 26-year-old's selection, at the expense of Manchester United's Michael Carrick, shows there is still a chance to break into Hodgson's plans before he names his squad for the Euro 2016 finals in France on May 12.

"What he has done has been pretty evident to everybody," Hodgson said of Drinkwater.

"He's had a fantastic season in a team that's having a fantastic season. Even last year we were aware of him.

"In that area of the field, in midfield, the competition is quite fierce. On this occasion I thought it was an opportunity to bring him in and see if he can reproduce the type of football and the quality he's shown for Leicester at international level."

And Hodgson refused to rule out further newcomers.

The 68-year-old added: "At the moment we're looking at a fairly large group, with this group of players, but who knows? There's still five or six weeks left of the season. Let's leave the door open.

"Players are emerging all the time. They are knocking on the door and sometimes they knock very, very heavily on the door."

England manager Roy Hodgson's 24-man squad for the friendlies with Germany (March 26) and Holland (March 29):

Butland (Stoke), Forster (Southampton), Hart (Manchester City);

Bertrand (Southampton), Cahill (Chelsea), Clyne (Liverpool), Jagielka (Everton), Rose (Tottenham), Smalling (Manchester United), Stones (Everton), Walker (Tottenham);

Alli (Tottenham), Barkley (Everton), Dier (Tottenham), Drinkwater (Leicester), Henderson (Liverpool), Lallana (Liverpool), Milner (Liverpool), Sterling (Manchester City);

Kane (Tottenham), Sturridge (Liverpool), Vardy (Leicester), Walcott (Arsenal), Welbeck (Arsenal).