“He goes because he’s a quality player.”
Paul Merson has dismissed Roy Keane’s comments about Jordan Henderson ahead of Euro 2020.
In the build-up to this summer’s tournament, Keane took issue with Henderson’s inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s England squad due to concerns about his fitness as the midfielder had been out of action for Liverpool for a number of months.
Keane made headlines by mocking suggestions that Henderson would prove to be a positive presence around the England camp even if he didn’t make it on to the pitch.
“He’s an experienced player, but to not kick a ball for three and a half months and go to a European Championship… he can’t be right,” Keane said on ITV ahead of England’s first match at Euro 2020.
“I’ve heard lots of people say they want him around the place. For what? Does he do card tricks? Does he have a sing-song? Do quizzes in the evenings? What does he do? And if you’re Liverpool then you wouldn’t be happy either.”
Ex-England and Arsenal star Merson has now hit out Keane for the above remark and explained why Henderson continues to be such an important member of Southgate’s squad.
Paul Merson rubbishes Roy Keane claim
Henderson scored his first ever goal for England in Saturday night’s 4-0 quarter-final rout against Ukraine, having gone 61 previous games without finding the net.
“[Henderson’s] a proper pro, isn’t he,” Merson said on Crouchy’s Late-Year Euros. “He’s a real professional. He has got on with it.
“He hasn’t been in the team and fair play to him. I know Roy Keane said ‘is he going because he’s playing karaoke?’
“It’s nonsense. He goes because he’s a quality player. Great for the team and he’s not a moaner. For me, outstanding.”