England

Wilshere returns to England squad

Jack Wilshere is back in the England squad after a long injury lay-off.
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Jack Wilshere has returned to the England squad for next week's friendly with Sweden in Stockholm.

The Arsenal midfielder has not featured for his country since making his fifth appearance against Switzerland in June 2011.

He has only just returned after 16 months out through injury and Arsene Wenger had cautioned against him being propelled straight back into the international arena.

However, Roy Hodgson has opted to select Wilshere anyway.

It is the stand-out pick in a squad that includes Everton's Leon Osman for the first time, and will be skippered by Steven Gerrard, who will win his 100th cap.

Also included are Liverpool duo Jonjo Shelvey and Raheem Sterling.

Jermain Defoe, Andy Carroll and Michael Carrick have not been included but they remain part of Hodgson's plans with the former West Brom boss simply choosing to look at other options.

Ashley Young returns from injury at the expense of Sunderland's out-of-form winger Adam Johnson while Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson has missed out despite committing his future to England and training with the squad prior to the World Cup qualifier against Poland.

The squad will meet up on Sunday and train in Manchester ahead of travelling to Stockholm for the game, which is the official opening of the new Friends Arena in the Swedish capital.

Wilshere made his first senior appearance for club or country since June 2011 when he started against QPR on October 27. His return is a welcome one for Hodgson, with the 20-year-old set to be a key performer for England for years to come in midfield if he stays fit.

Sterling has impressed for Liverpool this season and the 17-year-old was a late call-up for the World Cup qualifier with Ukraine at Wembley in September, but failed to make it off the bench even though England struggled for openings before finally claiming a draw.

Osman's first call-up comes at the age of 31, having played a key part in Everton's encouraging start to the Premier League season.

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).
 

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