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Ross Barkley makes the cut and joins John Stones in England Euro 2016 squad

Barkley's poor recent form raised doubts about his England place - but Hodgson has kept faith with the midfielder.

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Everton duo John Stones and Ross Barkley have been included in England's 23-man squad for Euro 2016, avoiding the cut that saw Danny Drinkwater, Andros Townsend and Fabian Delph miss out on a trip to France.

Stones was always going to make the final squad given he is one of only three regular central defenders in Roy Hodgson's provisional 26-man party. Eric Dier, a midfielder for Tottenham, will act as a makeshift central defender where necessary.

Just a few months ago Barkley's place in the squad looked just as assured, but poor recent form and question marks about his fitness meant he faced a nervous wait as Hodgson mulled over his final choices.

Barkley registered 12 goals and a further 10 assists during the season, but his last goal came in February and he recorded just three assists in the final 14 games of the campaign.

That has led to some questioning his fitness, even though the 22-year-old played 46 times this season including every Premier League game.

Barkley has visibly bulked up over the past 18 months and is known to work extremely hard in the gym, perhaps at the expense of some stamina.

Hodgson, however, is a big fan of Barkley and has included him in every England squad since the 2014 World Cup.

Andros Townsend, seen as perhaps Barkley's main rival for an England place, has been in fine form despite Newcastle's relegation and has a decent record at international level. But it seems his upturn in performances have come just too late to turn Hodgson's head.

I don't necessarily buy the Barkley fitness argument, I think it is more of case of him being in poor form and low on confidence.

Barkley's head does tend to drop when things are not going so well (remember Jags' half-time pep talk at Wembley) so was probably the main victim of Everton's collapse in form during the dying embers of Roberto Martinez's tenure.

He can be a match-winner on his day though and maybe a break away from Goodison is what he needs to spark his performances back into life.

Elsewhere in the squad 18-year-old Man United striker Marcus Rashford has been included to cap a remarkable few months that saw the teenager only make his senior club debut in February. Jack Wilshere, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson are also in the travelling party despite question marks over their fitness.

England play a final warm-up game against Portugal at Wembley on Thursday before flying to France next Monday. Their opening group game of Euro 2016 is against Russia in Marseille on Saturday June 11.

England squad for Euro 2016:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley).

Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool).

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).