‘Does he do card tricks? Quizzes in the evening?’: Roy Keane SLAMS the prospect of an unfit Jordan Henderson making England’s Euro 2020 squad as the Liverpool captain steps up his comeback in Romania friendly
- Roy Keane believes Jordan Henderson should not be in the England squad
- The Liverpool star is facing a race to reach full fitness for this summer’s Euros
- Keane believes the 31-year-old is ‘clearly not fit’ to feature for Southgate’s side
- The Irishman also dismissed the notion of Henderson being a ‘cheerleader’
Roy Keane believes that Jordan Henderson should not have been picked for England this summer as the Liverpool star is ‘clearly not fit’ with the pundit questioning why injured midfielder needs to be around the squad despite not being fully fit.
Henderson has been sidelined for over three months with a groin injury, and is making a late dash to reach full fitness ahead of the Euros this summer.
The Reds captain has been included in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for the major tournament, although there are fears that the 31-year-old will not be available to start the opening game against Croatia on June 13.
Roy Keane has questioned the inclusion of Jordan Henderson in England’s 26-man squad
Henderson missed Wednesday’s friendly win over Austria and was named on the bench for Sunday’s game against Romania, and is expected to make a second half cameo.
Southgate has said that the inclusion of Henderson and the injured Harry Maguire in his squad was decided due to the pair’s contributions in boosting morale around the camp, but Irishman Keane has dismissed that notion, asking whether Henderson is a ‘cheerleader’.
‘It is already a distraction for Jordan,’ he said on ITV Sport. ‘I was convinced Jordan was going to play the other day and certainly maybe start the game.
The 31-year-old has been sidelined for over three months with a long-term groin injury
Gareth Southgate says Henderson has been included as he is a good presence in the camp
‘I know there is talk that he is going to come on for the second 45 minutes, 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.’
Yet Keane believes that Henderson is ‘clearly not fit’ and should not have been included
Keane also dismissed the notion that Henderson could act as a ‘cheerleader’ for the squad
Keane’s punditry colleague Ian Wright defended Southgate’s decision, insisting that Henderson’s experience will benefit the camp. The former United captain did not concur with the Arsenal legend.
‘Wrighty, Jordan is an experienced player. Surely he doesn’t want to be around the place being some sort of cheerleader. You want to play.
‘He is clearly nowhere near it. What you need after three and a half months out is four or five games maybe. If he gets through the second 45 minutes does that mean he’s an option for next week? He is clearly not fit enough.’
Southgate has been plagued by injury problems to key players at just the wrong time. Maguire and Henderson will be big misses if unavailable, while Trent Alexander-Arnold withdrew from the squad this week with a thigh injury.
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