Jamie Carragher has explained why he can see Jordan Henderson playing an important role for England in the knockout stages of the World Cup.
The Three Lions booked their spot in the last-16 with a 3-0 victory over Wales tonight and will now face a Sadio Mane-less Senegal.
The Liverpool captain made his first start of the tournament during the clash and his presence in the middle of the park meant that Southgate’s side dominated proceedings.
“I actually think the balance of having Declan Rice and another similar type of midfielder there, it was Kalvin Phillips in the last tournament, and that partnership worked really well,” Carragher told Sky Sports (via the Liverpool Echo). “If we’re going to play 4-3-3, you want at least one of your midfield players to be offensive, Bellingham is that. They also had Mason Mount in there.
“Gareth has been accused of being pragmatic and defensive, but the first two games of a major tournament he has put Mason Mount and Jude Bellingham as attacking midfield players with Declan Rice in behind, so that’s not defensive. But as the tournament goes on and we saw in times in that game against the US, Declan Rice got overrun and it felt like he was outnumbered. At times he needs a bit of help.
“I thought the change of Jordan Henderson changed the game for England, so I’m not surprised he’s coming in and playing there. It may be a tussle between Bellingham and Mount going forward in this tournament. We’ll see how fit Kalvin Phillips gets.
“I don’t think Gareth Southgate will go with the midfield that he’s gone with in the first two games when they get to the knock-out stages against a top nation.”
Henderson performed well alongside West Ham’s Declan Rice and the team selection also meant that reported Liverpool target Jude Bellingham featured in a more advanced role.
The 19-year-old showed his versatility and once again proved why Jurgen Klopp is desperate to bring him to Anfield.
Southgate’s tactics and substitutions were criticised after his side played out a goalless draw with the USA on Friday but you’d now expect the Reds No. 14 to retain his spot in the side for the next round after a decent showing.
Former Liverpool player Stan Collymore has explained that he can also see the former Sunderland man ‘playing a more prominent role’ for the 1966 World Cup winners across the next few weeks.
Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips has only recently returned to fitness meaning Henderson will be ahead of him in the pecking order at the moment.