Arsenal forward Theo Walcott says he wishes England well at Euro 2016 despite his disappointment at missing out on a place in the squad.
The 27-year-old was left out of Roy Hodgson’s 26-man provisional squad ahead of friendly matches with Turkey, Australia and Portugal.
Hodgson handed a surprise call-up to Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford and Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend, but there was still no room for Walcott, despite the blow of his Gunners team-mate Danny Welbeck being ruled out of the tournament in France with injury.
Walcott says he spoke with the England manager before the announcement on Monday and respects the decision to leave him out.
I am of course disappointed not to make the squad, but I have spoken with Roy and respect his decision
— Theo Walcott (@theowalcott) May 16, 2016
“I am of course disappointed not to make the squad, but I have spoken with Roy and respect his decision,” Walcott said via his official Twitter account.
“I wish Roy and all the team the best of luck for a successful Euro’s [sic].”
Walcott has not played a full 90 minutes in the Premier League since December and Hodgson admitted a lack of regular football ultimately counted against him.
“They were tough decisions, they’re players I respect and admire,” said Hodgson, who also left out Everton duo Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka, as well as United veteran Michael Carrick.
“They [Walcott and Townsend] are both good, very different players. Andros was unlucky to lose his place in the squad but he’s done very well since going to Newcastle.
“Theo has unfortunately not had such a regular game time and has had a few problems. It’s a tough decision.”