Former Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam has defended Jordan Henderson following Roy Keane’s criticism of his selection for England.
Gareth Southgate has been questioned for including the Reds captain in his 26-man squad for Euro 2020 amid concerns about his fitness.
Henderson returned to first-team action for the first time since February with a 45-minute appearance in England’s 1-0 win over Romania on Sunday.
The 30-year-old had been sidelined with a groin injury but is building up his fitness ahead of England’s Euro 2020 opener against Croatia this weekend. end.
Manchester United legend Roy Keane criticized Henderson’s involvement in the squad, asking if he was going there as a “cheerleader” or for his “card tricks”.
Adam, who played alongside Henderson for Liverpool in the 2011/12 season, insists his former teammate will play a crucial role behind the scenes for England.
He told talkSPORT: “Jordan will bring calm because when England get to the final stages of the competition they will need someone who can keep the team calm on the pitch.
“Obviously Declan Rice is a wonderful footballer, but he hasn’t experienced Jordan in the best games yet.
“So if they have someone like that next to him… just being in and around the squad, he’s a leader, he’s the Liverpool captain.
“The trophies he has won over the past few seasons have been phenomenal.
“He’s also a very good footballer. He is underestimated with the way he plays. I just think it’s crucial for these young people to be able to express themselves.
“He’s probably not in peak form for what people expect, but he’s a top professional and he will do it.”
Former Tottenham and England striker Darren Bent agreed with Adam and believes Henderson is justifying his place in the England squad.
He said: “Jordan just played 45 minutes as well, so it’s not like he’s out of shape at all.
“I know Jordan, he’s keeping himself in incredible shape. So if he was going there and he wasn’t really going to play a role like Harry Maguire, we don’t know how fit he is, then I could sort of figure that out.
“But the fact that he played 45 minutes in the last warm-up game shows that there is a level of fitness there. So for me he has to go.