Nineteen-year-old Cardiff midfielder Rubin Colwill has been included in Wales’ Euro 2020 squad after just 191 minutes of senior football.
Colwill is the surprise name in a 26-man squad skippered by Gareth Bale and containing the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Daniel James, Ethan Ampadu and Joe Rodon.
There are eight survivors from the group which reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals in France – Bale, Ramsey, Ben Davies, Chris Gunter, Danny Ward, Joe Allen, Jonny Williams and Wayne Hennessey.
But it is the selection of Colwill, who began the season playing academy football and did not make his senior Cardiff debut until February, that will raise the eyebrows.
Neath-born Colwill has made just six Cardiff appearances, with just over three hours under his belt in the Sky Bet Championship for Mick McCarthy’s Bluebirds.
As expected, Hal Robson-Kanu – released by West Brom last week – missed out after being left out of the recent training camp.
Derby forward Tom Lawrence and Schalke winger Rabbi Matondo were also overlooked, with Swansea’s Ben Cabango selected ahead of Luton central defender Tom Lockyer.
WALES EURO 2020 SQUAD
Wales’ most capped goalkeeper has been his country’s undisputed number one for more than a decade. But the Palace veteran has had a difficult campaign after suffering a thigh injury in October and was out for three months. Lost Wales place to Danny Ward in March.
DANNY WARD (Leicester, 27, 12, 0)
Spent the last three years as Kasper Schmeichel’s understudy at Leicester and restricted to the odd domestic cup and Europa League appearance. Forced to bide his time on the international stage as well, but played at Euro 2016 when Hennessey was sidelined for the Slovakia opener.
ADAM DAVIES (Stoke, 28, 2, 0)
The Stoke goalkeeper got the nod over Ward when Hennessey was injured during the Nations League win in Bulgaria. But hopes of laying claim to the number one jersey were ruined when he suffered a knee ligament injury in November. Did not return to first-team action at Stoke until March.
CONNOR ROBERTS (Swansea, 25, 25, 1)
Roberts has had an excellent season at Swansea, whether deployed at full-back or wing-back. Possesses huge energy and enthusiasm and chipped in with vital goals as Swansea made the Championship play-off final.
NECO WILLIAMS (Liverpool, 20, 9, 1)
Won Premier League winner’s medal in 2019-20, but the Liverpool right-back has found first-team chances at Anfield limited. Made only three league starts this term but that has not slowed his progress with Wales. Popped up with last-minute winner against Bulgaria and can also operate on the left.
CHRIS GUNTER (Charlton, 31, 100, 0)
Entered Welsh football history by becoming the first male player to win 100 caps in March. The Charlton defender reached the milestone by leading Wales to victory over top-10 nation Mexico. Gunter, a Euro 2016 hero, has been a model of consistency over the years.
JOE RODON (Tottenham, 23, 12, 0)
Despite his tender years and limited experience at the top level, Rodon has emerged as the leader of the Wales defence. Made just 14 appearances for Tottenham following his October switch from Swansea, but looked accomplished for most part when given the chance.
ETHAN AMPADU (Chelsea, 20, 22, 0)
Versatility means can play in either central defence or midfield. Few chances for Chelsea since joining the European champions from Exeter in 2017. But had loan spells with RB Leipzig and Sheffield United over the last two seasons and is an accomplished ballplayer.
CHRIS MEPHAM (Bournemouth, 23, 16, 0)
Struggled with injuries and lost his place at Bournemouth towards the end of the campaign as the Cherries fell short in the Championship promotion race. Another talented ball-playing central defender but prone to the odd error. Regular Wales starter when available.
JAMES LAWRENCE (St Pauli, 28, 9, 0)
Nomadic career has taken him to Holland, Slovakia, Belgium and Germany. Suffered tricky introduction to international football but has adapted well over the last year. Settled well at St Pauli in Germany and ability to play on the left of a three-man defence has proved useful.
BEN CABANGO (Swansea, 21, 3, 0)
Turned 21 on Sunday and the Swansea defender only made his Wales debut in September. Relishes the physical battle, as evidenced when battling Barnsley’s American powerhouse Daryl Dike in the Championship play-offs, but also impressed in shutting out the skilful Mexicans in March.
BEN DAVIES (Tottenham, 28, 58, 0)
One of the heroes of Euro 2016, no Wales fan will forget his early goal-line clearance in the opener against Slovakia. Consistent performer whether operating as a centre-back, left-back or wing-back. Injury curtailed his Spurs season and has not played since March.
RHYS NORRINGTON-DAVIES (Sheffield United 22, 4, 0)
The Sheffield United full-back gained valuable Championship experience on loan at Luton and Stoke. Made his Wales debut in Bulgaria in October and acquitted himself well on the international stage with his aggression and endeavour.
JOE ALLEN (Stoke, 31, 57, 2)
Named in the official Euro 2016 team of the tournament and crucial to how Wales function. Operates in deep-lying midfield role, breaking up play and starting attacks. Would have missed Euros last summer due to ruptured Achilles and injury has kept him out since March.
JOE MORRELL (Luton, 24, 14, 0)
Heads to the Euros after a disappointing season following October move from Bristol City. Had little game time in the Championship and ended up playing more minutes for Wales than Luton last season. Tidy on the ball and has proved an able deputy for the absent Allen.
MATTHEW SMITH (Manchester City, 21, 13, 0)
Yet to make first-team appearance at Manchester City but gained senior experience on loan at Charlton, Doncaster, QPR and Dutch club Twente. The midfielder keeps his passing economical without risk, but has adapted well to the international stage.
JONNY WILLIAMS (Cardiff, 27, 27, 1)
Part of the Euro 2016 squad, Williams’ career has been blighted by injury and had little luck since February move to Cardiff. Claimed his first Wales goal in Bulgaria win and ability to win free-kicks – as he did for Bale to score in Euro 2016 opener against Slovakia – can prove vital.
AARON RAMSEY (Juventus, 30, 61, 16)
Sent Wales to Euro 2020 with both goals in a 2-0 win over Hungary. Makes Wales tick with his ability on the ball and forward runs, but the Juventus playmaker has been bedevilled by injuries. Key player at Euro 2016 when named in the official team of the tournament.
DYLAN LEVITT (Manchester United, 20, 6, 0)
Made his United debut in the Europa League in November 2019, but has had to go out on loan for first-team football. Won his first Wales cap last September and had an unhappy spell at Charlton before heading for Croatia in February and game-time with NK Istra 1961.
RUBIN COLWILL (Cardiff, 19, 0, 0)
The 19-year-old’s rise is real Roy of the Rovers stuff. Colwill only made his Cardiff debut in February and won his first under-21 cap in March. Started Cardiff’s final three games of the season, but has played only 191 minutes of senior football.
HARRY WILSON (Liverpool, 24, 24, 5)
Dead-ball specialist who rivals Bale from free-kick situations. Spent the season on loan at Cardiff from Liverpool, scoring seven goals. Also added to his Wales tally this term with strikes against Finland and Belgium.
DANIEL JAMES (Manchester United, 23, 19, 4)
The speedy winger had his critics among the United faithful since his 2019 move from Swansea. But James has flourished for Wales and his last major contribution was a headed winner in the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic. Huge counter-attacking asset.
DAVID BROOKS (Bournemouth, 23, 16, 2)
Might have missed Euro 2020 last summer through injury but for the tournament being delayed 12 months by the coronavirus pandemic. Exciting forward who likes to run with the ball and scored Nations League winner against the Republic of Ireland in November.
TYLER ROBERTS (Leeds, 22, 13, 0)
The Leeds forward has improved greatly under Marcelo Bielsa’s expert guidance and is versatile right across the front line. Thrown out of squad for Wales’ three games in March after breaching Covid-19 protocols, but that incident has not been held against him.
GARETH BALE (Real Madrid, 31, 90, 33)
Wales’ captain, record goalscorer and talisman. Mixed season on loan at Tottenham from Real Madrid as Jose Mourinho never seemed to fully trust him. But Bale still managed 16 goals to suggest he has plenty left in the tank for the Euros.
KIEFFER MOORE (Cardiff, 28, 15, 5)
The 6ft 5in targetman has been a revelation since joining the Wales set-up in 2019. Offers an attacking focal point with his mobility and aerial ability and has taken the scoring pressure off Bale. Also hit the 20-goal mark at Cardiff this season.
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