Rooney: Southgate has killed two England players. One is a key Chelsea player

Conor Gallagher
Photo: Ed Sykes/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

England have been poor so far in Euro 2024. The Three Lions topped their group to reach the round of 16, but the performances were far from impressive.

The main problem for England so far has been in midfield, as Gareth Southgate has been unable to create a fluid midfield system, despite the abundance of talent at his disposal.

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney, has further blamed Southgate for the manner he has used and discarded two England stars Trent Alexander-Arnold and Conor Gallagher.

“Against Slovenia, Kobbie Mainoo staked a big claim for a starting place, Cole Palmer was very good and Anthony Gordon, though he played only a few minutes, had a couple of excellent touches,” Rooney told The Times.

“At just the right time in the tournament, Gareth may have stumbled upon the right team. I would play at least two of those three youngsters against Slovakia – and, in fact, I said before the tournament that my starting XI for the knockout stage would have Mainoo and Gordon in it.

“None of what happened in the group stage surprised me. I would never have played Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield and expected that, when the experiment didn’t work, Gareth would try Conor Gallagher.

“Gareth killed both a bit by discarding them, but in each case it was the right call and when Mainoo came in you saw him making forward runs and showing composure on the ball.

“Palmer? He is just suited to international football. He can take the ball, he’s calm on it and has the personality you need on that stage. Gordon is more direct than the other two and ensures there is a good blend.”

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