Manchester United's young striking sensation Marcus Rashford has been retained by England in their confirmed 23-man squad set to compete at Euro 2016 this summer. Newcastle winger Andros Townsend and Premier League-winning Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater have both been axed after Roy Hodgson whittled down his provisional 26-man group to 23 ahead of the official Uefa deadline on Tuesday (31 May).
Daniel Sturridge, who returned to training on Monday after a calf problem that forced him to miss last week's warm-up win over Australia in Sunderland, is included as Hodgson elects to travel with five forwards. Liverpool teammate Jordan Henderson, injury-plagued Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and Everton playmaker Ross Barkley also make the final cut. Manchester City's Fabian Delph, included in the provisional travelling party, had already been dropped to the standby list due to a groin issue.
Hodgson was initially expected to choose between Rashford and Sturridge, yet the 18-year-old significantly boosted his claims for selection by breaking Tommy Lawton's long-standing record to become the youngest player to score on his international debut by netting after less than three minutes at the Stadium of Light.
It has been a remarkable three-month rise for a player who notched consecutive braces on his opening two senior appearances at club level and went on to fire eight goals in his first 18 first-team outings for United. Before starting against the Socceroos on Wearside, he had never featured for the U21s and had only been previously selected once at U20 level.
Drinkwater can count himself extremely unfortunate to have been overlooked after a superb campaign in which he proved an integral member of Claudio Ranieri's history-making Leicester side. Forming a hugely impressive partnership with N'Golo Kante in midfield, he started all but three of the Foxes' 38 top-flight fixtures and made his England debut during the 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands at Wembley in March before appearing in both friendlies against Turkey and Australia. His absence leaves Eric Dier as the only defensive midfielder, although Jack Wilshere, Dele Alli and Jordan Henderson can all sit deeper if required.
11-cap Townsend, meanwhile, made a considerable impact during qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil before missing the tournament due to ankle trouble. He was removed from international contention after being frozen out at club level by Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino, but returned to the radar after a promising run of form that followed a £12m ($17.5m) switch to St James' Park in January. He was unable to prevent Rafael Benitez's side from suffering relegation to the Championship, yet Theo Walcott's disappointing run at Arsenal and the latest knee injury suffered by Danny Welbeck opened up an initial place in the squad ahead of the Euros.
England welcome Portugal to Wembley on Thursday night (2 June) before travelling to their tournament base in Chantilly. The Three Lions, placed in Group B, play Russia at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Saturday 11 June before meeting Wales in Lens and Slovakia in Saint-Etienne.