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Wilshere back in England fold

Jack Wilshere has the chance to rebuild his England career after being named in the squad for next week's friendly against Sweden.

Last Updated: 08/11/12 at 15:56 Post Comment

Jack Wilshere: Has played only three first-team games in more than a year

Jack Wilshere: Has played only three first-team games in more than a year

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The Arsenal midfielder has played only three first-team games since returning from 16 months out with ankle, foot and knee problems and last featured for his country in June 2011.

Arsene Wenger had previously said he would ask Roy Hodgson if the 20-year-old could "skip" Wednesday's fixture, designed to mark the opening of Sweden's new national stadium, the 50,100-capacity Friends Arena.

But his red card at Manchester United last weekend means he will miss Saturday's visit of Fulham and has eased Wenger's fears that two games within five days would prove too gruelling.

There is a first international call-up for Everton's Leon Osman at the age of 31, while Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson will join the squad once his international clearance comes through and Steven Gerrard will skipper the side.

Gerrard will become only the sixth England player to reach 100 caps and is accompanied by Liverpool team-mates Raheem Sterling and Jonjo Shelvey in the 23-strong group.

But the other member of the 99-cap club, Ashley Cole, is among those who miss out through injury, with Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard and Manchester City trio Jack Rodwell, Joleon Lescott and James Milner also sidelined.

Hodgson's squad will meet on Sunday and train in Manchester before flying to Stockholm.

England squad to face Sweden: Hart, Ruddy, Forster; Baines, Bertrand, Cahill, Caulker, Jagielka, G Johnson, Shawcross, Walker; Cleverley, Gerrard, A Lennon, Osman, Shelvey, Sterling, Walcott, Wilshere, Ashley Young; Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck.

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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