“I wish we had these wide players in my generation.”
Rio Ferdinand has criticised the timing of England manager Gareth Southgate’s substitutions in Friday night’s 0-0 Euro 2020 Group D draw with Scotland and admits he can’t understand why Jadon Sancho is yet to feature.
England were far from their best at Wembley as Scotland produced a gutsy display to take a point off Southgate’s side ahead of the final round of group fixtures.
Southgate made just two substitutions during the game, introducing Jack Grealish for Mason Mount in the 63rd-minute before replacing Harry Kane with Marcus Rashford with 16 minutes remaining.
Sancho had 36 goal involvements in 38 games for Dortmund during the 2020-21 season.
And Ferdinand believes Southgate’s in-game decision-making needs to be stronger given the attacking talent at his disposal.
Speaking to BBC 5 Live, Ferdinand said: “The timing of the substitutions, I just thought they were very late. That doesn’t give Rashford or Grealish enough time to get into the rhythm of the game, get momentum or get the feel of it.
“Give them a half. Let them get their feet wet on the pitch, so I just feel we were too late with the substitutions.
“I know hindsight is a great thing, but in-game management and sensing a moment when you change the course of the game.
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“There is no doubt in my mind that we have the players in attacking areas that change games – utilise them.”
Ferdinand proceeded to question Southgate’s use (or lack thereof) of Sancho at the tournament with the Borussia Dortmund winger a surprise omission from the first two games after another impressive season in Germany.
The 21-year-old has once again been linked with a move to Manchester United this summer, but has not been given the opportunity to showcase his talents for the national side.
“Sancho’s not even got on the pitch,” added Ferdinand.
“In terms of goal involvements, for the last three seasons, Raheem Sterling is number one in the team, Sancho number two, and Harry Kane number three.
“So one of your most creative players in the last three seasons at club level, doesn’t make the squad for the first game and doesn’t get his feet wet in the next one.
“I wish we had these wide players in my generation, we would have won everything because they’re devastating from wide areas.
“Sterling’s got 110 goal involvements over the last three years, Sancho has 109, Kane 106. He’s got the ability, he’s not a one-season wonder – he’s been doing it for three years.”