‘Does he do card tricks? Quizzes in the evening?’: Roy Keane SLAPS the prospect of an unfit Jordan Henderson making England’s Euro 2020 squad as the Liverpool captain makes his comeback in Romania friendlier
Roy Keane believes Jordan Henderson should not have been chosen for England this summer as the Liverpool star is ‘clearly not fit’, with the pundit wondering why an injured midfielder should be on the roster, too though he’s not quite fit.
Henderson has been sidelined for more than three months with a groin injury and is making a late sprint to get fully fit for the European Championship this summer.
The Reds captain has been included in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man roster for the big tournament, although there are fears the 31-year-old will not be available to start the opening game against Croatia on June 13.
Roy Keane has questioned Jordan Henderson’s inclusion 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 cameo in the second half.
Southgate has said the inclusion of Henderson and the injured Harry Maguire on his team was decided due to the pair’s contributions to boosting morale around the camp, but Irishman Keane rejected that idea, asking if Henderson was a “cheerleader.” ‘ is.
“It’s already a distraction for Jordan,” he told ITV Sport. “I was convinced that Jordan would play last and maybe start the game.
The 31-year-old has been sidelined for more than three months with a long-term groin injury
Gareth Southgate says Henderson has been admitted because he has a good presence in the camp
“I know there’s talk of it going through the second 45 minutes, but why not start it in the first 45 minutes where there’s clearly more intensity?
“There will no doubt be a lot of changes in the second half, so I think it’s a huge distraction. Jordan is clearly 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 hard, he’s an experienced player. Not to kick a ball for three and a half months and go into a European Championship, he can’t be right.
‘ Now I’ve heard people say ‘they want it everywhere’… for what? Does he do card tricks? Does he have a song? Does he do quizzes in the evenings? What is he doing? And if you’re Liverpool, you wouldn’t be happy either.’
Still, Keane thinks Henderson is ‘clearly not fit’ and should not have been admitted
Keane also rejected the idea that Henderson could act as a ‘cheerleader’ for the squad
Keane’s expert colleague Ian Wright defended Southgate’s decision, insisting that Henderson’s experience will benefit the camp. The former United captain disagreed with the Arsenal legend.
“Wrighty, Jordan is an experienced player. He probably doesn’t want to be around like some kind of cheerleader. You want to play.
“Obviously he’s not around. What you need after three and a half months is maybe four or five matches. If he makes it through the second 45 minutes, does that mean he’s an option for next week? He is clearly not fit enough.’
Henderson was introduced at half time, replacing Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips in midfield. The Liverpool captain missed a penalty when England came out 1-0 as preparations for the European Championship continued.