ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson insists he would never consider overlooking striker Wayne Rooney for selection, despite the ongoing sideshow surrounding his Manchester United future.
Rooney has been the subject of two rejected bids from Chelsea this summer having previously expressed his wish to leave United, but the Premier League champions are adamant they will not sell.
The 27-year-old missed the Red Devils’ 2-0 win against Wigan in the Community Shield on Sunday, with manager David Moyes citing a lack of match fitness following recent hamstring and shoulder injuries.
However, Rooney completed a full training session with England yesterday ahead of tomorrow’s friendly with Scotland and Hodgson plans to pick the striker, despite the off-field distraction, and will not hesitate to do so again for the remaining World Cup qualifiers.
“He’ll always be considered for England while he’s physically fit because he’s one of our best players,” said Hodgson, who will also take charge of the Under-21s against Scotland at Bramall Lane tonight.
“In my year and a bit as manager I’ve been faced many times with the situation where players are not necessarily always playing in their team, but because they have the talent, qualities and skills we’re looking for they still manage to be selected.
“I’m hoping that won’t be the case with Wayne, but I’m not prepared to make any statements that if he’s not playing for a club side he can’t be considered for England.”
In Rooney’s absence, 31-year-old Southampton striker Rickie Lambert looks set to win his first England cap.
And Hodgson is also expecting to include Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, who has recently overcome an ankle injury.
“I am really pleased he [Wilshere] is back with us, he is a precocious talent,” Hodgson added. “He won the man of the match award again Brazil and was rather fantastic throughout.
“So we hope to have him for the qualification matches.”