Paul Merson has slammed Manchester United Roy Keane for his comments on Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson prior to the UEFA Euro 2020.
As quoted by the Liverpool Echo, former Arsenal midfielder turned pundit, Paul Merson, has slammed ex-Manchester United captain Roy Keane over his comments on Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson.
Keane, known for his unabashed punditry, had questioned Henderson’s selection in the England squad for the UEFA Euro 2020 prior to the tournament. The former Manchester United captain felt at the midfielder wasn’t deserving of his spot having not played regularly during the second half of the campaign due to an injury.
Hitting out against the decision by Gareth Southgate, Keane had mockingly said: “I think it’s a huge distraction. Clearly, Jordan’s not fit. I don’t think he should be involved. He cannot be fit. But to have not kicked a ball for three and half months then go to a European Championships. He cannot be right.
“Now, I have heard people say that they want him around the place. For what? Does he do card tricks? A sing-song? Quizzes in the evening? What does he do? If you’re Liverpool then you wouldn’t be happy either.”
Henderson may not have featured all too heavily for England so far in the UEFA Euro 2020, but made his mark in the quarter-final against Ukraine. Coming on as a substitute for Declan Rice early in the second half, the Liverpool captain scored his first-ever goal for the Three Lions even as the team cruised to a 3-0 victory to book a place in the semi-final.
Merson, speaking after the game, has slammed Keane’s comments, dubbing them as ‘nonsense’ while also hailing Henderson for his professionalism and attitude. “[Henderson’s] a proper pro, isn’t he. He’s a real professional. He has got on with it,” the ex-Arsenal star said.
“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.”
Merson is not the only one to come out and heap praise on the Liverpool skipper, with England captain Harry Kane, who also scored in the game against Ukraine, highlighting the value that Henderson brings to the team in a recent interview. The Three Lions will be taking on Denmark in the semi-final later this week and even though the Liverpool midfielder is unlikely to start, he has clearly shown that he has a key role to play in this setup.