Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater has been excluded from Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad for the European Championships in France.
Drinkwater featured in 3 matches for England, the most recent being a decent showing in a 2-1 friendly victory over Australia. He was among the favorites to be cut from the squad, as Hodgson seems to prefer the experience of Jack Wilshire and Jordan Henderson, regardless of form and fitness.
Disappointed not to make the final 23! Would of been a fantastic experience to go to the euros as a player... But I'll be supporting the country like I always have! The seasons been a huge positive for me.. Going into next season as a premier league champion! Good luck to the lads... Bring it home #england
Though it might not be the fairytale ending for Drinkwater, let's take a look at the pros and cons of his exclusion.
Pro: It was a great experience to learn from
Whether he made the final cut or not, it was always going to be a great learning experience for Drinkwater. Playing your first matches with the national team can give a player plenty of new knowledge both tactically and skillfully. A national call-up also proves as a great confidence booster, as Drinkwater and Leicester look to defend the title next season.
Con: Drinkwater clearly deserved it more.
Don't get me wrong, Wilshire and Henderson are both great players. But excluding a player that's been a dominating presence in midfield for an entire season and selecting two players who have struggled for fitness throughout may come back to bite Hodgson.
Yes, both are experienced, with Wilshire being expected to play a key role in the system. Neither player has shown anything special in the friendlies leading up to the tournament. Despite Roy's statement that Wilshire has proven himself fit, he doesn't exactly look like a player who would walk into the Barcelona midfield, as Hodgson seems to think.
Although Drinkwater may not have the experience, he has proven his form and fitness throughout the entire season.
Taking two players with massive question marks from a fitness standpoint doesn't seem too wise of a decision.
Pro: He wouldn't have gotten much playing time anyways.
Hodgson clearly prefers Eric Dier in the holding midfield role, meaning Drinkwater would likely be spending the majority of the trip on the bench. It's a great experience, but his omission gives him the time to prepare solely on the impending club season.
Con: Lack of Depth for England.
Drinkwater serves as a great backup to Dier, offering the similar attributes to protect a fairly weak England back line. He could serve as a more defensive option if the squad were to come up against some of the tournaments offensive powerhouses, such as France and Germany.
It's not just about the depth in role that Drinkwater could play, but this also relates to the depth of central midfielders as a whole. With the injury concerns and, in Wilshire's case, proneness, a couple health issues could prove detrimental to the midfield.
Considering the depth up in the striking positions, it seems an odd decision to exclude players who could essentially fill these depth concerns if they were to arise.
Overall, it proved a good experience for Drinkwater, who's now made a name for himself on the international stage, earning a Man of the Match award in the process. This is just the beginning of Drinkwater's senior England career, and if he's to continue his outstanding club form, another England call-up is most certainly in the cards.