Harry Maguire should not have been included in England’s Euro 2020 squad and could be a “distraction”, according to Rio Ferdinand.
Gareth Southgate confirmed his final 26-man squad for this summer’s delayed Euros on Tuesday. He whittled away seven names from the provisional list to arrive at his final decision. Some choices were made for him due to injuries, but he still selected a couple of players who aren’t fully fit.
Namely, Maguire and Jordan Henderson both made the cut despite missing the end of the club season with Manchester United and Liverpool respectively.
Southgate justified his decision by referring to how important their experience could prove to be. However, ex-Man Utd defender Ferdinand disagrees with him.
He told FIVE: “England needed another centre-back. This tells me he [Southgate] is definitely playing three at the back.
“Harry Maguire’s not even fit, I wouldn’t even take Maguire. You’re not fit, you’re not going to be fit for ages, it doesn’t make sense.
“I’ve been in squads with players who haven’t been fit and they don’t perform when they’re not themselves.
“It happened with Becks [David Beckham] and Wazza [Wayne Rooney]. As good as Maguire is, he’s not a Becks or a Wazza.
“I don’t think you should take someone who’s not 100% fit. It’s hard to come back and get into a rhythm.
“That narrative ends up taking over the squad and it becomes the conversation and a distraction. Do we really need that?
“It’s pointless I think. Hopefully he proves me wrong, I would love it if he did.”
Southgate vents at Alexander-Arnold situation
One of the other main talking points from Southgate’s squad was his decision to take all four right-backs from his provisional selection. There were question marks about Trent Alexander-Arnold’s involvement, but the England manager gave an emphatic response.
After announcing his squad, Southgate was quick to get it off his chest that the Liverpool man had long been assured of his spot at the tournament.
“I spoke to Trent three weeks ago. There were stories over the last couple of weeks with lots of strange headlines, I have no idea where they have come from,” the manager told his press conference.
“I felt that there were stories that ran that were so far off the truth. I read stories about me that aren’t true but when it’s a player they may feel like they’re reading it so it may be true.
“Last night we were dealing with that, in the morning he’s taking set pieces preparing for tomorrow and then he’s reading that he is not going to the Euros.
“That’s the world I live in but I want to protect my players. I spoke to Trent last night to say ‘don’t know where this is coming from, it’s nonsense’. People jump on it and say I have an agenda or don’t like the kid. It is an incredible situation.”