England boss Roy Hodgson insists that captain Wayne Rooney fully deserves a place in his Euro 2016 squad despite criticism this term.
Manchester United have been without their captain for the last six games due to a knee injury as they look to secure a top four finish, but he is expected to return to action before the end of the month.
The Red Devils have not seen the best of Rooney this term and his place in the England set-up has been questioned as a direct consequence of that.
Hodgson insists that Rooney is currently the only player he would guarantee a spot after insisting he has shown up well for the national side.
Â“Yes I can [say he is a certainty] because he is our captain, he is our most experienced player,Â” Hodgson said.
Â“He has not missed one game in the last 10 qualifiers, in fact he has not missed one squad of the last eight squads, that takes in 16 games. He has never let us down.
Â“I am not prepared to say categorically for many players at this early stage that this player will go, but I certainly will dismiss any discussions about Wayne Rooney and whether he should or shouldnÂ’t go, because he deserves to be there.
Â“My only fear is that he wonÂ’t recover in time from his injury. I think it is a minor fear, because everyone tells me he should be fine, but that for me would be the only doubt.Â”
Rooney will be missing for ThursdayÂ’s Europa League clash with Liverpool at Anfield and punters using their free bet may fancy the Merseyside outfit to take advantage in his absence.