Gareth Southgate has been criticised for taking ‘cheerleaders instead of players’ to Euro 2020 as England duo Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire continue to recover from injuries.
Liverpool midfielder Henderson has not played since February after undergoing groin surgery, while Man United defender Maguire has been out for a month with an ankle problem.
With England’s opener against Croatia in eight days time, it seems unlikely either player will be match fit, even if their injuries have cleared.
Despite those doubts, Three Lions boss Southgate has suggested the Liverpool and Man United captains are still worth including in his 26-man squad due to their leadership qualities.
Yet, with Jesse Lingard, James Ward-Prowse, Ollie Watkins, Ben White and Ben Godfrey currently missing out, the pair could be occupying places for players who are fit and able to make a difference on the pitch.
Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara has dismissed the idea of taking players for their influence on the dressing room.
He told talkSPORT: “What are we doing, as a country, taking injured players? You can’t take players to major tournaments who aren’t fit.
“We don’t need cheerleaders, we need players. And we need players who will make a difference.
“At the moment, we’ve got cheerleaders. We’ve got Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson.
“Great players, love them both. If they’re fit, they start. If you ain’t fit, you can’t go mate! Simple as that.”