England manager Roy Hodgson says captain Wayne Rooney is certain to be part of the Euro 2016 squad, provided he has recovered from a knee ligament injury.
The 30-year-old has not played for Manchester United since Feb. 13 and is expected to miss the forthcoming international friendlies with Germany and Netherlands later this month.
Rooney has produced some indifferent displays for the Red Devils this season, scoring only seven Premier League goals. Hodgson, however, will have no hesitation in making the forward integral to his plans in France this summer, with Rooney having become England's record goal scorer during what was a flawless qualification campaign.
Speaking to talkSPORT, the England manager said: "Yes I can [say he is a certainty] because he is our captain, he is our most experienced player.
"He has not missed one game in the last 10 qualifiers, in fact he has not missed one squad of the last eight squads, that takes in 16 games. He has never let us down.
"What's more is that form is something you have to be very careful of, because if I am going to dismiss people every time they go through a two or three-week period and are accused of being out of form, and then pick other people through a two or three-week period because they are in form, I think that would be a major mistake.
"I've got to pick the right players, they have to have the right quality, the right attitude, the right desire to play for the coach and perhaps as well have to have shown some degree of loyalty and commitment to what we are trying to do ... so there is a lot of things you have to take into account when putting a squad of players together.
"If it was just going to be simply that, to wait until the middle of April to May 12 when I have to select my squad, and then just [pick] the 23 players who are on form in those weeks, I feel I would be taking a lot of players to the Euros who probably aren't as good as the ones I would be leaving behind."
Hodgson added: "I am not prepared to say categorically for many players at this early stage that this player will go, but I certainly will dismiss any discussions about Wayne Rooney and whether he should or shouldn't go, because he deserves to be there.
"My only fear is that he won't recover in time from his injury. I think it is a minor fear, because everyone tells me he should be fine, but that for me would be the only doubt."