England vice-captain Jordan Henderson says that Manchester United new boy Jadon Sancho could have a stellar role to play in Euro 2020’s closing stages.
The Three Lions play Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday for a place in Sunday’s showpiece final. Gareth Southgate‘s men are no strangers to semi-finals under his tutelage, but have yet to go further. Nevertheless, expectation is growing that the side could reach a first major tournament final since 1966.
England have yet to concede a goal after five matches – a European Championships record – but their attack has blossomed in the knockout stages.
While Harry Kane has rediscovered his goalscoring touch, Sancho has proved a welcome addition. Having not appeared in the tournament previously, he starred in Saturday’s 4-0 quarter-final win over Ukraine.
Speaking to England’s official media channel via Twitter, Henderson revealed his admiration for Sancho.
“Sancho is a really good example of someone who wasn’t playing as much as he would have liked at the beginning of the tournament but because he’s been working hard, because he’s been training hard, he gets his chance and did fantastically well,” the Liverpool captain said.
“I thought he had a great game and you’ve got to give him credit for that.
“He’s got his head down and worked himself into the team and hopefully he’s got even more of a vital role to play in the next game as well.”
Debate is ensuing as to whether Sancho should start again against Denmark. However, Bukayo Saka has returned after a knock after starring against Germany and the Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish did not get a minute against Ukraine. Southgate therefore faces a tough decision, but all four players have proved their worth.
Henderson is another player who has struggled for minutes so far at Euro 2020.
The Premier League and Champions League-winning captain came into the tournament short of fitness. However, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips have shown no signs of giving way in midfield.
Still, the 31-year-old showed his importance by netting his first international goal against Ukraine off the bench.
Henderson ready for England
Speaking about his own role, Henderson said: “[It’s] difficult when you’re not playing, it can be frustrating at times especially when you’re not starting in games but you’ve just got to make sure you’re ready, train well.
“Of course, I’ve been out for a long time coming into the tournament so to be here is a big plus for me and to be contributing is really important.
“But of course you want to be playing as much as possible as a player.
“You’ve got to train as hard as possible and be ready for when you’re needed.”