England midfielder Jordan Henderson spent the last chunk of the 2020-21 Premier League season out injured but still, he has somehow gotten into the 26-man England squad for EURO 2020.
The Liverpool man had a really mixed season, firstly playing out of position due to all the defensive injuries to Liverpool. And then he picked up a groin injury which has forced him to be on the sidelines for over three months. Henderson has been out of action since the last week of February, his last game being a 2-0 loss to Everton.
Despite that, he was named on the bench for Sunday’s game vs Romania and he’s going to make a late push to prove his fitness for the European Championships.
Gareth Southgate has chosen only five midfielders for EURO 2020 and now that he could in line to name an out-of-form Jordan Pickford in his starting line-up, pundit Roy Keane has come out to make some really hard-hitting comments.
‘It is already a distraction for Jordan,’ he said on ITV Sport, as quoted. ‘I was convinced Jordan was going to play the other day and certainly maybe start the game.
‘I know there is talk that he is going to come on for the second 45 minutes[vs Romania], but why not start him in the first 45 minutes where there is obviously more intensity?
‘The second half there’ll no doubt be plenty of changes, so I think it is a huge distraction. Clearly Jordan is not fit, I don’t think he should be involved.
‘He can’t be fit, if he can’t start a game against Romania… physically and mentally today’s game won’t be that tough, he is an experienced player. To not kick a ball for three and a half months and go into a European Championship, he can’t be right.
‘ Now I have heard people say “they want him around the place”… for what? Does he do card tricks? Does he have a sing song? Does he do quizzes in the evenings? What does he do? And if you’re Liverpool you wouldn’t be happy either.’
Should Jordan Henderson start for England?
Jordan Henderson has hitched a ride to the European Championships thanks to his leadership qualities. And this decision to take an injured player to the tournament could massively backfire for Gareth Southgate.
The manager has opted to keen players like Jesse Lingard and James Ward-Prowse out of the 26-man squad just to include Jordan Henderson into the list and if this plan does not go down well then pundits like Roy Keane will tear the England manager’s tactics to shreds.
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While Jordan Henderson was recovering from groin surgery, Jesse Lingard was back to his peak form on a loan spell at West Ham United. Hendo missed the last three months due to the injury and on the other hand, James Ward-Prowse has played every minute of every Premier League match this season for Southampton.
Still, Gareth Southgate chose to snub these two in-form players and bring the Liverpool midfielder into the squad.
Henderson might be 100% fit by the time the tournament kicks off but he will nowhere close to being match fit and by the time he reaches top gear, EURO 2020 could be over.