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Steph Houghton: Former England captain left out of squad for women's Euros

Steph Houghton and Sarina Wiegman
Steph Houghton has not featured for England since Sarina Wiegman was appointed in September

Steph Houghton has not been included in England’s 23-player squad for the women’s Euros.

Houghton, who captained England for eight years, has not played since January because of an Achilles injury.

The Manchester City defender has made 121 appearances for England including five major tournaments.

Midfielder Jill Scott has been called up and will go to her 10th major tournament despite struggling with injury at the end of the season.

Chelsea forward Fran Kirby has also been selected despite struggling with fatigue and having not played since February.

From the 28-woman provisional squad named in May, goalkeeper Sandy MacIver, defender Niamh Charles and midfielders Katie Zelem and Lucy Staniforth have missed out on final selection.

Manchester City forward Chloe Kelly has been included after recovering from a serious knee injury and will be one of nine players taking part in their first major tournament.

England’s all-time leading goalscorer Ellen White will be going to her third successive Euros.

“I am excited by what is possible for this group. We all know this is a huge opportunity and it is one we have to grab with both hands,” said manager Serena Wiegman.

“The chance to represent the nation on such a big stage on home soil is one to relish. This group so far has proven they are prepared to give it all they have in every training session, in every meeting and in every game.

“Making the final selection is always difficult because we know the talent and commitment of every single player. I am certain those we have had to disappoint will give everything to support us and be ready if called upon.”

The Lionesses, who are hosting the tournament, are in Group A with Austria – their first opponents on 6 July – Norway and Northern Ireland.

Teams will be able to make changes to their squad because of illness or injury until the first game.

England play Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland in friendlies this month.

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Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City).

Defenders: Millie Bright, Jess Carter (both Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (unattached), Alex Greenwood, Demi Stokes (both Manchester City), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jill Scott (unattached), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal).

Forwards: Beth England (Chelsea), Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, Ellen White (all Manchester City), Beth Mead, Nikita Parris (both Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Manchester United).

Analysis

Emma Sanders, BBC Sport

Wiegman has made several big decisions since she took the helm in September – naming Leah Williamson as captain for the tournament and now leaving out Houghton from her Euros squad.

The Manchester City defender was always facing a battle to prove her fitness and with centre-backs Millie Bright, Jess Carter and Alex Greenwood impressing for both club and country this season, she had stiff competition.

Scott and White have plenty of tournament experience, while Williamson and Bright are among those who have brought leadership into the squad.

In Lauren Hemp and Beth Mead, England have forwards in impressive form, while Chloe Kelly’s inclusion is an exciting wildcard.

The players left out of the squad – Staniforth, Zelem, Charles, Houghton and MacIver have played just 46 minutes in total under Wiegman so it is no real surprise to see them omitted from the final squad selection.

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