Marcus Rashford was the stand-out name as England manager Roy Hodgson selected a young, bold and attacking squad for Euro 2016.
Half a century after lifting the World Cup, England will cross the Channel on Monday looking to return as champions of Europe.
Hodgson finalised his 23-man squad for this summer’s tilt at glory on Tuesday afternoon, with Andros Townsend and Danny Drinkwater joining the injured Fabian Delph in being cut from the enlarged provisional party.
Having initially intended to reveal his final selection on May 12, the England manager instead named a 26-strong group after the final round of Premier League matches in order to assess the fitness of some key players.
That decision also allowed the coaching staff to take a closer look at Manchester United striker Rashford, who netted eight goals in 18 appearances after bursting on to the scene in late February.
The 18-year-old went on to score 138 seconds into Friday’s international debut and was named man of the match in the 2-1 friendly win against Australia, complementing some impressive training displays.
Hodgson, Ray Lewington and Gary Neville clearly saw enough from the precocious striker as, 96 days after making his club debut, they included him in the squad heading to France.
Rashford found out about his selection at England’s team hotel yesterday lunchtime, having returned to The Grove following a session at Watford’s nearby training ground in London Colney.
The 23-man squad were called into a short team meeting and informed they had made the cut, as well as finding out the numbers they would be wearing in France.
Daniel Sturridge, Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson were all chosen despite questions over their fitness, while left-back Ryan Bertrand was included despite receiving treatment on a knock.
The Football Association is expecting the entire squad to be fit for England’s Group B opener against Russia on June 11, even if Thursday’s final warm-up match against Portugal comes too soon.
Squad - goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley); defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool); midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manc City), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal); strikers: Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd).