Sven-Goran Eriksson believes that Jesse Lingard should have been included in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England squad for this summer’s European Championships.
The former England manager thinks that having the option to call on Lingard from the substitutes bench would be beneficial to Gareth Southgate because of his pace and individual ability.
Eriksson admitted that the final selection is always difficult but that he would have taken Lingard to this summer’s tournament.
“It’s a surprise that Lingard’s not there because even to have him on the bench with his pace and one-on-one ability, he’s a clever footballer,” the Swede told talkSPORT.
“He had a good season with West Ham. I didn’t see him play every game, but the games I saw, he has been very good.
“It’s always difficult. At the end, you can only pick the number [of players] that you’re allowed to pick. Someone will be disappointed, it’s always like that.”
Despite not making the original 26 Lingard’s hopes are of going to his second major international tournament are not over yet.
Following Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury against Austria in the pre-tournament friendly Southgate has another selection dilemma on his hands.
Of the six members of the original 33 man party, Lingard is joined on the stand-by list by Ben Godfrey, James Ward-Prowse, Ollie Watkins and Ben White.
Former England U21 midfielder Jamie O’Hara believes that Ward-Prowse is the man Southgate will pick, primarily for his set-piece taking prowess.
“Trent is a set-piece specialist. There is talk of Lingard replacing him but, for me, I think Ward-Prowse needs to be in there,” he said.
“He can play in midfield, Henderson is still not right. Ward-Prowse gives you something different. How many games are decided by set-pieces? You’ve got to take him.”
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O’Hara added: “I don’t understand why we’re taking so many injured players to a major tournament.
“We’ve done it before and it’s backfired. You’ve got Ward-Prowse, Lingard, White – they’re all ready to go. Why are we not taking a fit team?”
Southgate will wait until after the final warm-up match is over on Sunday evening against Romania before announcing any changes to his squad to allow for any further injury issues.