Stoke captain Shawcross to turn down Wales for England

Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross will reject an offer to represent Wales as he has his sights set on winning a place in the England squad, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Shawcross has an England cap, from the 2012 friendly defeat to Sweden, but as it was a friendly and not a competitive fixture the centre-back is still able to change allegiance and is eligible for Wales. He was overlooked for the current England squad, to play Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia, but isn’t ready to give up the fight, it’s believed.

England manager Roy Hodgson declined to call Shawcross despite losing Manchester United pair Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, and when Everton’s John Stones was forced out of the squad due to injury, turned to Arsenal’s Calum Chambers, rather than the Stoke skipper. Chambers was moved up from the England Under-21 side, drawing the ire of figures at the Potters, the Telegraph claim.

Shawcross, who has been at Stoke since a £1m move in 2008 from Manchester United, was part of an England side that conceded four goals against Sweden, all scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the hosts won 4-2.

The Stoke chairman, Peter Coates, has argued Shawcross shouldn’t be judged on his appearance in that game and believes Hodgson can still be won over. “As a club we are desperately disappointed that Ryan has been overlooked and it’s something we struggle to understand,” he said.

“We believe he is one of the best defenders in the country and it wouldn’t be right for him be judged on one 15-minute appearance playing against somebody [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] who was at the peak of his game,” Coates continued.

“We’ve got some games coming up against the big boys and hopefully he can take the opportunity to make an impression. All he can do is concentrate on playing well for Stoke and then hopefully his chance will come again.”

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