Gareth Southgate has earned a great deal of criticism for his decision to bring recovering stars Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire along for England’s European Championship campaign.
Both were fighting for fitness toward the latter stages of their domestic club seasons, though have featured on the bench for the national side’s prior two group stage fixtures.
As such, the national boss suggested the pair could yet be involved on the pitch for The Three Lions and “play a big part” in the competition.
“Both (Henderson and Maguire) are training very well and both will be involved tomorrow,” the Englishman was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.
“It’s slightly different situations considering the time they’ve missed. We’re happy with their progress.
“They’ve already, without being on the pitch, had a massive impact around the training sessions and around the squad.
“I couldn’t be happier with our playing group and, the senior players in particular, the influence and the impact they’ve had.
“It’s a massive disappointment for any player to miss matches. Of course they want to get on the pitch and we’re hoping they can play a big part in this tournament for us.”
Presuming that England successfully navigate their way past a final group stage meeting with the Czech Republic tomorrow, having the likes of Henderson and Maguire to call upon would be a massive boost.
Having stepped up their rehabilitation, one might certainly expect that the Manchester United centre-half will be recalled to the backline sooner rather than later, with the Liverpool midfielder a potential to swap in for Declan Rice in midfield.
If the national side is looking to restore energy in the middle of the park, the Champions League-winner would certainly be an ideal one to switch in alongside Kalvin Phillips and Mason Mount.