Rio Ferdinand says Harry Maguire should have been OUT of England’s 26-man squad for Euro 2020 LEFT over fears over his condition and warns Manchester United captain’s ‘pointless’ inclusion could distract Gareth Southgate’s side
Rio Ferdinand believes the inclusion of injured defender Harry Maguire in England’s 26-man Euro 2020 squad is ‘wrong’.
The Manchester United captain missed the last five games of the season for his club – including the defeat of the Europa League final on penalties from Villarreal in Gdansk – with an ankle ligament injury.
Still, the 28-year-old was named by England boss Gareth Southgate as one of four conventional centre-backs for the tournament, with Manchester City’s John Stones, Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings and Wolves’ Conor Coady the others.
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Rio Ferdinand (R) insists Harry Maguire (L) should not have been in England’s squad for Euro 2020
The Manchester United captain missed their last five games of the season with an ankle injury
It reflects the concerns of former Three Lions boss Sven Goran Eriksson, who included David Beckham in his 2002 World Cup squad despite his broken foot.
Four years later, the Swede also took Wayne Rooney for the final in Germany, although the striker broke his metatarsal bone late in the season.
Ferdinand was in those respective rosters and believes Maguire should have stayed home as a result, as it could provide a dressing room distraction for the other 25 members of the squad this summer.
England needed another centre-back. This tells me he [Southgate] definitely plays three in the back,’ Ferdinand told FIVE.
Still, he was named by Gareth Southgate (back) as one of the three centre-backs in the squad, with Tyrone Mings (front) another
Conor Coady (left) and John Stones (right) were the other center halves to be included
‘Harry Maguire isn’t even fit, I wouldn’t even take Maguire. You are not fit, you will not be fit for a long time, it makes no sense.
“I’ve been in squads with players who weren’t fit and they don’t perform when they’re not themselves.
‘It happened to Becks’ [Beckham] and Wazza [Rooney]. As good as Maguire is, he is not Becks or Wazza.
“I don’t think you should take someone who isn’t 100 percent fit. It’s hard to come back and get into a rhythm.
“That story eventually takes 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’d love it if he did.’
Sven Goran Eriksson took David Beckham into the 2002 World Cup squad despite a broken foot
During his press conference after naming his squad, Southgate emphasized that he had no qualms about naming Maguire or Jordan Henderson – who is also returning from a groin injury – to the squad for their experience and leadership qualities.
‘We know exactly where he is’ [Maguire] is with us,” said Southgate.
“Our medical team visited him in Manchester. He has not yet traveled to us due to quarantine issues coming back from Poland. That was a bit more complicated.
“He has something to do, like Jordan Henderson, to be available. But we feel the possibility that they could play a part, and the fact that they are such fantastic characters to have in the group.
Eriksson (R) also included Wayne Rooney (L) in 2006 despite his broken metatarsal bone
‘Hendo’s leadership and presence is already having an effect on other people, especially the younger in the group, but also on everyone else.
“Since we have 26 to choose from, we felt the opportunity to have those two with us was very easy.”
However, Southgate admitted it is still unlikely that Maguire will take part in England’s first match of Euro 2020 against Croatia on June 13.
“It’s going to be tight for the first game, no doubt about that,” Southgate added.
“He’s such a good player and because we had the extra squad size, we wanted to take that opportunity to bring him into the squad.”
Southgate insisted he had no qualms about including Maguire or Jordan Henderson (above)