Southgate: Henderson will be a miss to the England squad

By Sports Desk May 21, 2024

Gareth Southgate says Jordan Henderson will "be a miss" after omitting the midfielder from his preliminary 33-man England squad for Euro 2024.

Henderson has 81 senior caps for England but saw his place fiercely debated after joining Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq last year from Liverpool.

The 33-year-old was booed by some England fans during a friendly win over Australia last October, having suggested his presence in Saudi Arabia could be a "positive" thing for LGBTQ+ rights in the country in a widely criticised interview with The Athletic.

In January, he secured a move to Ajax but has only made nine Eredivisie appearances as the former Dutch champions finished fifth.

Asked about Henderson’s absence, Southgate said: "[Jordan Henderson] will be a miss. He's an exceptional individual and a fantastic human being. He's been in that leadership role for a long time.

"We've got young players with a lot of caps. There's no reason why young players can't lead.

"The 33 isn’t quite a fair definition because we’re taking a longer squad with some younger players to look at. Hendo has given himself every chance.

"From the last camp, he missed five weeks through injury, and he hasn’t been able to get to that tempo since then. It’s a big call to make, the three players from last time, he, Ben [White] and Marcus [Rashford] all had excellent professionalism."

Marcus Rashford is another one of the names overlooked after a poor season for Manchester United.

He scored just seven goals in 33 Premier League games this campaign after netting 30 in all competitions for the Red Devils in 2022-23.

"These are of course difficult calls," Southgate added when asked about Rashford.

"You are talking about players that are very important players. With Marcus, in that area of the pitch, I feel that other players have had better seasons, it’s as simple as that."

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