England manager Roy Hodgson has put to bed the debate regarding Jack Wilshere's inclusion in the Euro 2016 squad, with a number of former players questioning his selection owing to his lack of game time this season. The Arsenal midfielder has played just 141 minutes of Premier League football after spending the entire season on the sidelines nursing a fracture.
Wilshere started his first game for the Gunners this season since the final game of last season, and his inclusion ahead of Mark Noble of West Ham United has surprised many. Hodgson, however, has indicated that selecting the Three Lions was one of his easiest decisions after he proved his fitness in the last few weeks of the domestic season.
The 24-year-old was one of the best players for England during the Euro 2016 qualifiers, which saw England go unbeaten in Group E. Wilshere also scooped up multiple man of the match awards during the qualification process, which helped sway the manager's decision in his favour.
"Obviously, I think he is a real quality player. He ticks all the boxes. I had to ask myself certain questions. Number one, Is he actually fit now? Yes he is fit," Hodgson said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"Then I asked if he is the type of player who brings something different to the team, a player we do not have an abundance of. The answer was yes."
"Third question. At top level competition, in the qualifiers, has he performed? Has he done the job for us? Has he been a very good player? Three man of the matches in a row would answer that one," the former Liverpool manager explained.
"So really, to select him in a group of 26 was a very easy thing to do. Would I have liked him to be playing week-in, week-out for the Arsenal? Of course I would."
"Would I have liked Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane, Eric Dier to have played a few less games, and Chris Smalling to have had a bit of a rest? Yes, I would."
"But Jack is there on merit. He is a special player. We don't have lots and lots of Jack Wilsheres available. There are other areas on the field where my choice is very great. Is he the type of player that could really help us as a starter or as a substitute because maybe he has different qualities to some of the others midfield players we've got? The answer was yes," he added.