This summer, a number of Arsenal’s first team players will link up with Roy Hodgson and the rest of his 23-man squad ahead of the European Championship in France.
The likes of Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny and Petr Cech are all set to be involved for their respective nations but Gunners fans will be primarily watching how their English stars perform ahead of what could be a defining season in the club’s history.
Unfortunately, Danny Welbeck suffered a serious knee injury in the 2-2 draw away at Manchester City and has been ruled out of the competition.
The Arsenal forward was practically a shoo-in to make Roy Hodgson’s England squad this summer but he required major surgery and has subsequently been ruled out for up to nine months – which is extremely unfortunate for both the national team and Arsenal.
However, one man’s loss is another man’s gain and Theo Walcott, Welbeck’s Arsenal team-mate, may be the main beneficiary from his injury in terms of making Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad.
At the time of writing, England are priced at 9/1 to win the competition in Coral’s Euro 2016 odds and Walcott’s versatility could prove useful as the Three Lions attempt to emulate the World Cup-winning heroes of 1966.
Coral writer Jamie Clark wrote a piece previewing England’s upcoming match against Germany in March but forgot to mention Theo Walcott as a potential candidate to play out wide.
As of May 12th, Walcott is priced at 8/13 in Coral’s Euro 2016 odds to make the squad and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Hodgson use the 27-year-old on either flank, despite Arsene Wenger deploying him centrally for the majority of the campaign.
In addition, Jack Wilshere may also find himself in Hodgson’s 23-man squad. The England boss is a big fan of Wilshere’s and it could be argued that he is actually one of England’s top midfielders when fit.
While he has missed a large chunk of the campaign, Wilshere has performed well since returning to the Arsenal starting line-up and may sneak into the squad at the expense of either Jordan Henderson or James Milner.
If nothing else, it should be an exciting tournament for Arsenal supporters – even with the horrific injury to Welbeck. The Gunners could have two representatives in the squad and fans will be positive ahead of what could be a memorable summer for English football.
If Hodgson gets his squad right, there’s absolutely no reason why England cannot win the competition – and both Wilshere and Walcott can help the Three Lions create history.