Rio Ferdinand says divisive England star must go to Euro 2024 | Football

Jordan Henderson needs a great run of form at Ajax in order to convince fans he’s good enough to be in the England squad (Photo: Getty)

Rio Ferdinand is adamant Jordan Henderson must be in the England squad for Euro 2024, despite many fans calling for him to be axed.

Even during his peak years as Liverpool captain, there were many who questioned Henderson’s place in Gareth Southgate’s side, especially as it meant that other talented midfielders barely got a look in.

Those questions have only grown louder over the course of the season after the 33-year-old controversially left Anfield for the Saudi Pro League.

He would last just six months in Saudi Arabia, joining Ajax in January though his arrival has barely revived the struggling Dutch side.

Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice are locked in to start for England but the third midfield spot is up for grabs, with Henderson, Conor Gallagher, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kalvin Phillips the main contenders.

But despite his rather disastrous season so far, Ferdinand believes the former Redsskipper is still a vital player for the Three Lions and is needed for this summer’s European championship.

‘I think Henderson should go I’ve got to be honest because I think he brings more than just as a player,’ the former Manchester United and England defender said on the FIVE podcast.

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Impressive performances have put Curtis Jones in England contention (Photo: Getty)

‘His presence, when you’re in a dressing room you need certain heads there who have experience, who know how to win, who know how to generate an environment that is conducive to winning.

‘He knows how to do that, he’s been a captain of a team that has won multiple trophies, there ain’t too many in that dressing room who know how to do that. As good as Harry Kane is, he don’t know how to speak about winning a trophy in that dressing room.

‘So we can say, “I don’t think he’s good enough”, but there’s more than just football when it comes to winning things or winning tournaments. There’s a mindset.

‘And in that changing room they all respect him. Don’t matter who they play for, how much money they on, what they’ve won… Jordan Henderson will walk in that changing room with England and they’ll all go, “yeah I respect this guy”. cuz he’s done it.’

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Kobbie Mainoo has burst onto the scene at Man Utd but will it be enough to get an England call-up? (Photo: Getty)

Some supporters believe Henderson’s spot should go to an emerging talent with Liverpool’s Curtis Jones and United’s Kobbie Mainoo enjoying great seasons – an idea Ferdinand can also get behind.

He added: ‘Every tournament there’s always going to be a few, “should he go, should he not? Whose on the flight, who ain’t?”. Curtis Jones will be one of them, Kobbie Mainoo if he continues performing like he does. [James] Ward-Prowse.

‘From experience, I went to a tournament because of my potential. I didn’t go to the tournament to play, I went for experience and what it would do for me in the tournaments that are coming because they saw that I would be a player.

‘Michael Owen was the same. The Brazilian Ronaldo went to a tournament but didn’t play. It’s whether Gareth Southgate and his staff look at Kobbie Mainoo and go “he’s our future”. If he ain’t thinking future Kobbie Mainoo ain’t going.

‘But in a tournament and in a team that wants to win, it’s not just about what you can do football wise, talent wise, there’s more to it. There needs to be that experience, the ability to talk, grab, push, shove, punch.

‘Respect immediately before you kick a ball. Not everyone but there has to be one or two of those in that squad and Jordan Henderson is that guy for me.’

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