Former England defender Rio Ferdinand has hit out at Gareth Southgate’s explanation for Jadon Sancho’s absence in Euro 2020.
Rio Ferdinand has questioned how Jadon Sancho’s inexperience on the big stage is relevant when Gareth Southgate has no problem selecting other young players in Euro 2020.
The Three Lions boss has started youngsters Declan Rice, Mason Mount, and Phil Foden in each of the national team’s Group D games against Croatia and Scotland so far. Even 17-year-old Jude Bellingham has played.
But Sancho hasn’t seen a minute of action despite another stellar campaign for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
“We’ve got some explosive options and a lot of them are young players and experiencing a big tournament for the first time,” said Southgate on Sancho’s lack of game time on Sunday.
“So as a coaching staff we are realistic about our expectations of them as individuals.
“Jadon is in that mix. He’s trained well the last few days and of course, we have got those options and those decisions to make.”
Jadon Sancho didn’t get 20 assists a season, for 3 consecutive seasons at Dortmund just to not play at the Euros.
109 G/A in 125 appearances.
Give him a chance Southgate. pic.twitter.com/DBTNRqk9cX
— Anfield Opinion🏴™ (@AnfieldOpinion6) June 22, 2021
Ferdinand urges Southgate to make ‘brave’ calls
“There are inexperienced players that haven’t been to tournaments, they’re everywhere,” said Ferdinand on his Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE YouTube channel.
“You go on what they’ve done at their club and the last three years, in terms of output, Sancho has been the second-best player in terms of goal involvement over the last three years – and he’s done it at Dortmund.
“So to think that you’re talking about experience… he’s played more games than Foden at the top level as well as Mount and Bellingham.”
The former Manchester United and England defender added: “I just feel that sometimes as a manager you’ve got to be brave.
“You’ve got to be brave and don’t err on the side of caution. In Southgate’s own mind he’s going to have to be brave because I think naturally he’s a more conservative person.
“In his own mind he’ll think he’s being brave when we’re sitting here going, “Just play him!”, because we’ve seen him play at the top level
“But if you’re sitting there as Gareth Southgate, you’ve got to go against your natural instinct.”
England face the Czech Replublic on Tuesday night at Wembley for their final Group D match in Euro 2020.