Toffees boss Roberto Martinez is concerned that Barkley could be one of a number of players who have featured for England’s senior team picked for the tournament in the Czech Republic in June.
Barkley, 21, impressed as a second-half substitute in England’s European qualifying win over Lithuania and friendly draw with Italy last week and Hodgson agrees that Barkley, who featured in England’s World Cup squad last summer, has moved beyond the U21s group.
“I tend to be veering towards Roberto for the simple reason that I think that was a tough tournament for Ross in Brazil last year,” Hodgson said.
“I think the major argument, and one that Gareth is very much aware of, is that they have qualified, played all these games and worked very hard with a very good group of players. But Ross will have been catapulted in from the outside – he is part of our national team and proved himself a worthy one.
“I’m not certain you can guarantee Ross is going to go there, not upset the rest of the players, make Gareth’s team so much better and be man of the tournament. There is no guarantee but it could happen.”
Hodgson does admit, however, that Southgate should have the ability to select from a number of senior players still eligible for the U21s, including Harry Kane, John Stones and Luke Shaw.
“There are lots of them that could go into the squad and that is how it should be,” he said.
“For the U21s it’s going to be a big ask in the summer but if they come away from the tournament having done well these players will step up even more, in terms of their reputation.
“Harry Kane is different because, apart from these two senior matches, he has played in every U21s game. He’s been there right from the start
“John Stones’ performances in these last two games have been exceptional and, from what I have heard, it looks like he might want to play in the tournament as well.
“We also like James Ward-Prowse very much but we’ve kept our hands off him simply because of the U21s. We know he’s a big prospect and the moment he comes back from the Czech Republic he’ll be very much in our thoughts.”