| 12.5°C Dublin

captain's call John Aldridge: The big reason why England need Jordan Henderson at Euro 2020


Jordan Henderson. Photo: Reuters

Jordan Henderson. Photo: Reuters

Jordan Henderson. Photo: Reuters

The position of Jordan Henderson in England's Euro 2020 squad has been the subject of much debate in recent days, but John Aldridge is convinced the Liverpool captain can be a key man this summer.

Henderson has not played since picking up an injury playing for Liverpool in mid-February and has admitted he is not fit to start the tournament that gets underway for England next Sunday.

His injury problem has sparked a debate over whether Henderson deserves his place in the England squad for this summer's tournament, but Liverpool goal scoring great Aldridge insists his impact is felt on and off the pitch.

"England have to take Henderson to the Euros and I can totally understand why Gareth Southgate has included him in the squad despite his injury," Aldridge told sundayworld.com.

"You get so much more from Jordan Henderson at this stage than just a midfielder. He has developed into a leader and that has been evident time and again over the last few years.

"Southgate will know that he can be a positive influence around the young lads in the squad and a good voice in the dressing room if they are struggling.

"Jordan is not just the captain of Liverpool at this stage, as he has been a leader among all the club captains in the Premier League and has become a real spokesman in the game.

"Henderson is also a fantastic midfielder and if England get to the latter stages of the competition and he can get himself fit, Southgate will know how important he could be."

Meanwhile, Southgate said the news of Trent Alexander-Arnold being ruled out of the European Championship was "heartbreaking" but that the defender will be fit in time for next season.

The 22-year-old will miss the finals after suffering a thigh injury late on in Wednesday's 1-0 friendly win over Austria.

"It's heartbreaking, really, for any player to get to the eve of a major tournament, be named in the squad and then miss out through injury," Southgate said.

"You know how rare these opportunities are and even though he's a young player who is going to have those opportunities again – I firmly believe that – that's a really difficult moment for him especially.

"It's a big disappointment for us of course as well but you can't help but, first and foremost, feel for Trent in this situation.

"The one thing I was pleased about is that immediately after the game, I didn't like the look of the injury but at least it sounds as though he should be fine for pre-season and for next season.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"But that is a very small positive in the situation he is in, so of course he was very upset, bitterly disappointed and in those moments everybody is thinking about him."

Read John Aldridge's verdict on whether Liverpool can catch Premier League kings Manchester City and new European champions Chelsea next season in this weekend's Sunday World.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices