England recall Wilshere for Sweden friendly

Everton’s Osman, 31, gets first call-up as Gerrard set for 100th cap

Gulf News

London: England manager Roy Hodgson recalled fit-again midfielder Jack Wilshere to his squad on Thursday for next week’s friendly away to Sweden and also awarded a first call-up to Everton’s Leon Osman.

Steven Gerrard is in line to win his 100th cap in Stockholm on November 14, while goalkeeper Fraser Forster retains his place in the squad after starring in Celtic’s shock 2-1 Champions League win over Barcelona on Wednesday.

Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole was overlooked due to injury and there was no place for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, who made his comeback from injury in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Arsenal playmaker Wilshere, 21, recently returned after spending 16 months on the sidelines through injury, which forced him to miss the whole of last season.

Eased back

He has not represented his country since he made his fifth appearance against Switzerland in June last year.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said Wilshere needs to be eased back into action gently, but his sending off in the 2-1 loss away to Manchester United last weekend means he will not play at home to Fulham on Saturday.

Liverpool midfield duo Jonjo Shelvey, 20, and Raheem Sterling, 17, were both retained by former Reds manager Hodgson, while 31-year-old Osman is rewarded for several seasons of consistent displays in midfield for Everton.

Jermain Defoe, Andy Carroll and Michael Carrick were all left out, but Hodgson says they remain part of his plans.

Manchester United winger Ashley Young also returns after injury, but there was no recall for Arsenal right-back Carl Jenkinson.

Next week’s game in Stockholm is being held to mark the opening of the new Friends Arena in the Swedish capital.