Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere called up to England squad


Click to follow
The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson has risked the wrath of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger after Jack Wilshere was named in his England squad to face Sweden.

The Three Lions play in Stockholm next Wednesday and Hodgson has selected an experimental squad with Wilshere included for the first time since a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland in June last year.

Wenger had previously warned against selecting the 20-year-old given he has only just returned from a 17-month lay-off following an ankle problem aggravated in that Switzerland game and subsequent knee problems.

The Gunners manager's stance may have softened slightly given the midfielder is suspended for Saturday's Premier League match against Fulham after receiving a red card in last weekend's defeat to Manchester United.

But Arsenal have carefully managed Wilshere's return to action and Wenger will be uneasy with his involvement just three days before a crucial north London derby against Tottenham at Emirates Stadium.

Hodgson and Wenger are likely to discuss the situation in the coming days and it is almost certain Wilshere will not play the full 90 minutes.

But speaking before learning of his call-up, Wilshere admitted he was relishing the chance to add to his five senior international caps.

"It is a dream to play for England and I'm looking forward to playing, if selected. But its down to the powers above."

Among the others called up is goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who performed heroics for Celtic as they beat Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Forster, who was in the last England squad but remains uncapped, is quickly establishing a glowing reputation with two outstanding performances against the mighty Catalans.

The former Newcastle stopper, who was sent out on a multitude of loans during his time employed by the Magpies, including at Bristol Rovers and Norwich, joined Celtic in 2010. After two successful seasons on loan the move was made permanent this summer. For a club recently credited with a fine recruitment policy, Forster's recent performances will have Newcastle kicking themselves that they allowed him to leave.

Midfielder Leon Osman has also been rewarded for his fine form at Everton with his first senior call-up. The 31-year-old has only represented England at Under 16 level with his last appearance coming against Slovakia in 1998, while Raheem Sterling has been chosen for the second time after excelling in his debut season in Liverpool's first team squad.

There is also a call-up for Tottenham defender Steven Caulker for a match which will see Steven Gerrard reach 100 caps.

England squad for the friendly against Sweden on November 14:

Squad: Hart (Manchester City), Ruddy (Norwich), Forster (Celtic); Baines (Everton), Bertrand (Chelsea), Cahill (Chelsea), Caulker (Tottenham), Jagielka (Everton), Johnson (Liverpool), Shawcross (Stoke), Walker (Tottenham); Cleverley (Manchester United), Gerrard (Liverpool, capt), Lennon (Tottenham), Osman (Everton), Shelvey (Liverpool), Sterling (Liverpool), Walcott (Arsenal), Wilshere (Arsenal), Young (Manchester United); Rooney (Manchester United), Sturridge (Chelsea), Welbeck (Manchester United).