Injured Jordan Henderson is ‘not Lionel Messi’ and should not be part of England’s Euro 2020 squad.
talkSPORT has been told Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate has plenty of midfielder options who could replace the Liverpool captain.
Henderson was selected in Southgate’s 26-man squad for the Euros, despite not playing a single minute of football since February because of a groin injury.
He was meant to play some part in England’s 1-0 friendly win over Austria on Wednesday, but felt some discomfort on the morning of the match and told Southgate he could not play.
Southgate revealed the Reds skipper went for a scan on his injury instead, with just ten days until the European Championship kicks off.
And former England international Gabby Agbonlahor is adamant Henderson should be replaced before the tournament stars, with Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse waiting in the wings.
The ex-Aston Villa captain told talkSPORT: “If I’m an English midfielder that hasn’t been picked in the squad, I’m fuming.
“I’m thinking, ‘hang on a second, this player is an amazing player, but he’s injured’. Send him home!
“It’s not as if it’s Lionel Messi, send him home. We’ve got other midfielders who can do just as good a job as him.
“He’s not played for how many weeks and he still wasn’t fit to play against Austria. What’s Southgate waiting for – the quarter-final to bring him on for 20 minutes?”
Henderson, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Trent Alexander-Arnold are injury doubts for England heading into Euro 2020.
And talkSPORT host Jamie O’Hara cannot believe the amount of injured players Southgate has selected.
He said: “How many injured players can we have in the squad? It’s getting ridiculous.
“It’s not good enough. You can’t take players who are not fit.
“If Jordan Henderson is saying in the morning, ‘I don’t feel right’ and you get sent for a scan, you’re not right!”
Meanwhile, ex-Leeds and England defender Danny Mills insists Henderson should definitely stay in the England squad, even if he is still struggling with injury, saying his experience will be vital for the Three Lions.
He said on Thursday’s talkSPORT Breakfast: “Why wouldn’t you go? Why wouldn’t you give yourself an opportunity? We’re all assuming England are going to get out of the group.
“You don’t need Jordan Henderson to start those games.
“I’m looking at the last-16, the quarter-finals, maybe a semi-final, you’re 1-0 up, you’re under the cosh, half an hour, 25 minutes to go, you’re getting overrun a little bit and you need someone to come on to organise things, calm it all down, use their experience and get you through the game.
“We talk about players that come on and change the game in a more positive way, that’s about scoring goals and creating chances.
“But if you’re 1-0 up, Jordan Henderson in the last 25 minutes to come on and just marshal that midfield, sit in front, get you through that game, get you through the knockout stages, why would you not have him there?
“Why would you not keep him around for that experience?”